UK & World News
Actor Bob Hoskins Reveals He Has Parkinson's
Bob Hoskins is to retire from acting after revealing he has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
The 69-year-old British star's films include the underworld classic The Long Good Friday and Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, a mix of live action and animation.
Hoskins' agent announced he was withdrawing from acting after a "wonderful career" and would be spending time with his family.
A statement issued on his behalf said: "Bob Hoskins wishes to announce that he will be retiring from acting, following his diagnosis of Parkinson's disease last autumn.
"He wishes to thank all the great and brilliant people he has worked with over the years, and all of his fans who have supported him during a wonderful career.
"Bob is now looking forward to his retirement with his family, and would greatly appreciate that his privacy be respected at this time."
Hoskins' parts over the years have ranged from gritty gangster films to comedy roles.
He was seen earlier this year playing one of the seven dwarves in Snow White & The Huntsman, which starred Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron.
Hoskins was famously on stand-by to play Al Capone in Brian De Palma's 1987 film The Untouchables, until Robert De Niro agreed to take the role.
The director went on to send him a cheque for £20,000.
Hoskins explained: "I phoned him up and I said 'Brian, if you've ever got any films you don't want me in, son, you just give me a call'."
Back To The Future actor Michael J Fox also has Parkinson's, and started displaying early symptoms in 1990 while shooting Doc Hollywood, although he was not properly diagnosed until the following year.
Another prominent sufferer is former heavyweight world champion boxer Muhammad Ali, while ex-Arsenal and Liverpool footballer Ray Kennedy has also been diagnosed.
Around 120,000 Britons have Parkinson's, which is caused by a loss of brain cells that produce a chemical messenger called dopamine.
Symptoms differ from case to case, but often include a tremor or fine shake while the person is at rest, rigidity of muscles, slowness of movement and unsteady balance.
Most sufferers are over 50 but one in 20 is under 40.
There is no cure and scientists have been unable to work out why people develop the condition.