~ Eddie Valiant getting mad with Roger Rabbit after being cuffed to him
That's right, a Toon. We were investigating a robbery at the First National Bank of Toontown. Back in those days, me and Teddy liked working Toontown, thought it was a lot of laughs. Anyway, this guy got away with a zillion simoleons. We trailed him to a little dive down on Yukster Street. We went in. Only he got the drop on us, literally. Dropped a piano on us from fifteen stories. Broke my arm, Teddy never made it. I never did find out who that guy was. All I remember was him standing over me laughing, with those burning red eyes, and that high, squeaky voice. He disappeared into Toontown after that.
~ Eddie Valiant to Roger Rabbit about his brother's death.
Edward "Eddie" Valiant was a Californian private investigator and the main protagonist of the 1988 film, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?.
He was portrayed by the late Bob Hoskins, who would later go on to voice Boris and portray Mario in the Super Mario Bros. movie.
Eddie Valiant and his brother Theodore "Teddy" Valiant were sons of a circus clown (shown by the pictures on their desk in the film), who shared in his occupation for a while. Fittingly enough, this caused both of them to become happy, jolly, good- humored guys with a love of jokes and laughs. They eventually joined the police force and went on to start their own private investigation service, Valiant & Valiant, in 1934.
In their service as private investigators, they were known for working largely on Toon cases, such as the kidnapping of Donald Duck's nephews in 1937 or clearing Goofy of accusations of espionage in 1940, both seen as newspaper clippings in Valiant's office.
However, during another investigation in the early 1940s, he and Teddy were chasing the unknown Toon form of Judge Doom who was robbing the First National Bank of Toontown (the home of all the Toons). During the chase, Doom dropped a large grand piano on them from 15 stories up. Eddie survived, only with a broken arm, but Teddy was killed. After his death, Eddie showed a great dislike for Toons (Up to that point, he and Teddy loved going to Toontown and working with the Toons), lost all of his sense of humor and positive outlook on life in general, turned to the bottle, and disappeared from the public eye.
Since turning to alcohol, Eddie became a subject of ridicule among the police force.
Role in the film
In 1947, R.K. Maroon of Maroon Cartoons paid Eddie Valiant $100 to photograph Jessica Rabbit, Roger Rabbit's wife, quite literally "playing pattycake" with Marvin Acme, owner of Toontown and founder of the Acme Corporation. When Acme is murdered and Roger becomes the prime suspect of the case, Valiant teams up with Roger to find the killer, and soon finds not only Acme's murderer, but the murderer of R.K. Maroon, and his own brother who turns out to be Judge Doom who is really a Toon wearing a human mask.
Valiant manages to defeat Doom by gushing out Dip on him from the Toon Destroyer, causing him to melt and scream "I'm melting! Melting!", a reference to the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz (1939), who melts when she gets water splashed at her. After defeating Doom at Acme Warehouse, Eddie ended his vendetta against Toons after avenging the death of his brother Teddy at the hands of Doom and walks home with Roger and Jessica Rabbit and his girlfriend, Dolores. In addition, his tapping into his long- lost sense of humor to defeat Doom's henchmen rekindled his love of laughter and jokes, so he presumably returned to his happy, optimistic former self from then on.
Eddie's comedic scream upon seeing Roger sleeping in his bed.
Although little or nothing is heard about the methods employed by Teddy, the items on his side of the desk in shots of the Valiant & Valiant office suggest that he was based more on Sherlock Holmes, judging by the tobacco pipe and magnifying glass on his desk.
Eddie's character is somewhat different in the movie. Rather than being a smoker, he is an alcoholic and having no facial hair whereas, in the novel, he has a beard.
It should be noted that Bob Hoskins is British and has a Cockney accent, and Eddie was raised in California.
In early screen tests for the film, Disney veteran Pete Renaday portrayed Eddie.
Although Eddie is the overall protagonist and has bigger plans, Roger drives the plot and is more iconic than him.
Before Hoskins was cast, several other actors were considered for the part of Eddie.
Harrison Ford was Spielberg's original choice to play Eddie, but he was too expensive for the part.
Chevy Chase was the second choice to play the character, but he turned it down as he wasn't interested in it.
Bill Murray was also considered for the part, but due to his method of receiving offers for roles, he missed out on it.
Eddie Murphy was also considered for the role, but reportedly turned down the role, but later regretted it.
Robert Redford, Jack Nicholson, Sylvester Stallone, Wallace Shawn, Ed Harris, Charles Grodin, Don Lane and even the late Robin Williams were also considered.