In Who Censored Roger Rabbit?, Eddie is a fictional Californian private detective hired by comic-book star Roger Rabbit to investigate the workings of his corrupt employers, the DeGreasey Brothers. When Roger is found dead, and his final words having been censored out, Eddie is soon sent on the case of tracking his murderers. This first incarnation of Eddie is a heavy smoker, has a beard and is active when the book is set (1981), rather than the later, more accepted incarnation of the character.
The 1988 film gave more insight into the character of Eddie. He also does not smoke but is an alcoholic. He dislikes most Toons since his brother, Teddy, was killed by one years ago, with the exception of Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, Betty Boop, and Tweety Bird. After Teddy and R.K.'s deaths are avenged, Eddie shows a lot more love and respect for every Toon from then on. He also has made it his mission to protect Toontown and its citizens at all costs, too.
Before Bob Hoskins was cast, many A-list actors were up for the role including Eddie Murphy and Harrison Ford who was Spielberg's choice but demanded too high a price. Bill Murray was also in consideration for the role, but ended up not having the opportunity to participate. This regret lead him to participate in another animation/live-action hybrid film: Warner Brothers' Space Jam.
Initially, Eddie has a hard-boiled disposition, coming across as stubborn and cynical. He initially harbors a general distaste for Toons since his brother, Teddy, was killed by one; since his death, Eddie stopped taking cases for Toons and began to drink heavily. Despite this, he retains his street smarts, as well as his knowledge of Toon rules and culture.
Prior to Teddy's death, he and Eddie were (as shown in pictures) to be extremely fun-loving, and would do anything for a laugh. They were the only known humans who could ever out-funny a Toon.
Underneath his gruff exterior, Eddie proves to be a loyal comrade (aiding Roger in his time of need, despite his own reservations), and harbors a soft spot for his girlfriend, Dolores. By the film's end, he gives up drinking, is finally at peace with Teddy's death when he defeats the evil Judge Doom, and has reconciled with the Toons.
Eddie and Teddy were sons of a Barnum and Bailey circus clown (shown by the pictures on their desk in the film), who joined the police force; they graduated from the LAPD in 1925. They eventually started their own private investigation service, Valiant & Valiant, in 1934, working largely on Toon cases such as the kidnapping of Donald Duck's nephews in 1937, and clearing Goofy of accusations of espionage in 1940 with possibly being a spy for the Axis Powers during World War II (both seen on newspaper clippings in Eddie's office).
However, during another investigation in 1942, Eddie 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), but during the chase, he dropped a piano on them from 15 stories up. Eddie survived with a broken arm, but Teddy was killed. After his death, Eddie showed a great dislike for Toons, turned to the bottle, and disappeared from the public eye, refusing to take any more cases involving Toons, still haunted by the last image he saw of Doom before he disappeared into Toontown.
Since turning to alcohol, Eddie became a subject of ridicule among the police force, due to being a former member of Los Angeles' Finest.
In 1947, R.K. Maroon of Maroon Cartoons summoned Eddie to his office to discuss recent problems with his #1 Toon star, Roger Rabbit. He asks Eddie to investigate a possible rumor that Roger's wife, Jessica, is having an affair behind his back. Maroon hoped it would help Roger focus on his job as Maroon was already deeply over-budget with Roger's latest cartoon by $25,000 due to him being unable to focus on his work, as Eddie witnessed when he botched his 23rd take for the cartoon, titled "Something's Cooking", frustrating both his costar, Baby Herman, and the director, Raoul. Eddie tells Maroon that the job will cost $100 since he won't have to enter Toontown to accomplish the assignment. Maroon agrees to the price, paying Eddie half now, and the other half once he finishes the assignment. Afterwards, before he heads out to accomplish the job, Eddie paid a visit to the Pacific Electric Red Car Trolley Terminal Bar to ask his girlfriend, Dolores, if he could borrow her camera to complete the job for Maroon in return for paying her back so she doesn't lose her job. While there, one of the regular customers, Angelo, has a little fun poking Eddie about still taking on Toon cases. When he goes too far and starts laughing about it, still angry over Teddy's death at the hands of a Toon, Eddie snaps, kicks Angelo's stool out from under him, and then grabs him by the chin before he can recover to give him a very, stern warning:
- “Get this straight, meatball. I... DON'T... WORK... FOR TOONS!!”
Eddie storms out afterwards, and as Angelo asks Dolores what his problem is, she tell the patrons that a Toon killed Teddy by dropping a piano on his head. The patrons quickly lower their heads in respect at learning of the death of one of Los Angeles' Finest and the other member of Valiant & Valiant.
That night, Eddie arrives at the Ink and Paint Club that Maroon mentioned was where Jessica worked. After gaining entry from its bouncer, Bongo the Gorilla, he enters the main showroom in the middle of a performance by Donald Duck and his rival, Daffy Duck. Eddie sits down to enjoy them, only to have his shirt ruined as the guest at the table next to him intentionally squirts ink on it and giggles in enjoyment afterwards. He threatens to stick the pen up his nose, only for the other man to reveal the stain vanishing as it's Disappearing Ink and apologizes. Eddie then realizes that is Marvin Acme, owner of the Acme Corporation and Toontown. After reciting his motto, he offers his hand to Eddie, only to give him a shock of his still-biggest seller, the Acme Hand Buzzer. Eddie takes it in stride as he sits back down and orders a drink from the Penguin Waiter that comes to serve him, warning him to make sure there's ice in it and not take his "scotch on the rocks" order literally. Afterwards, he continues to watch Donald and Daffy perform their act, ending when Donald blasts a hole in his piano from Daffy's with a Toon cannon, and both, along with their pianos, are yanked off-stage by a pair of Toon hooks due to ruining their act once more, though it still gets a round of applause and laughter from the audience, with Acme telling Eddie that Donald and Daffy will never finish their act if they keep bickering and fighting like that to amuse the crowd. Eddie ignores that as the Penguin Waiter returns with his drink, but finds that they still put a rock in it and took him literally, to his annoyance. However, his attention is soon drawn when he recognizes the voice of Betty Boop, working as a cigarette salesgirl there since Toons went to color, putting her out of work, but she still shows she's got it as she recites her catchphrase, garnering a genuine smile from Eddie as he's glad to see she still got it.
However, Eddie's attention is soon drawn to the stage again as the men in the audience begin to applaud wildly with cheers and howls, especially Acme. When Eddie asks Betty why, she tells him, "Mr. Acme never misses a night when Jessica performs." He assumes Acme has a thing for rabbits (thinking Jessica is one), but when she emerges from behind the curtain to reveal herself to the crowd as she sings "Why Don't You Do Right?", Eddie is stunned by her appearance.
- “She's married to Roger Rabbit?!"
"Yeah, what a lucky girl.”
- ―Eddie and Betty Boop
After Jessica's performance, Eddie tails Acme to where he spots him entering her dressing room to congratulate her. As he peers into it through the keyhole in the door, he's caught by Bongo and swiftly thrown out by him, who warns Eddie never to show his face there again. Despite being exiled from the club, Eddie spots a window into Jessica's dressing room and is still able to eavesdrop on her conversation with Acme, along with taking pictures of them as he is heard saying "pattycake" repeatedly, while she is heard moaning in excitement. Eddie is left stunned by what he sees.
Back at Maroon Cartoons, Roger soon learns of what Eddie witnessed, and is beside himself in grief in thinking Jessica is cheating on him. Eddie and Maroon try to console him, but it does little to cheer him up. However, after he goes through an allergic reaction to drinking human alcohol that results in damaging Maroon's office, he swears to Eddie that he and Jessica would be happy again, before shooting out of the office through the window, to Eddie and Maroon's shock. Eddie returns to his office that night to look over some of the pictures developed from his camera's film, including some of him, Dolores, and Teddy on vacation.
Eddie is soon shocked awake from a hangover-induced sleep the next morning by L.A.P.D. Lt. Santino, who reveals that Acme was murdered the night before and Roger is the prime suspect of the case.
Arriving at the Acme Factory, Eddie is momentarily distracted by seeing Toontown on the other side of its wall, before having to backup with Santino as Yosemite Sam flies over the wall and crashes down in front of them with his rear end on fire. As he extinguishes it in a puddle of rainwater and relaxes, Santino takes Eddie into the factory to oversee the investigation that the L.A.P.D. are conducting regarding Acme's death and Roger being the prime suspect. Santino momentarily leaves Eddie to speak with Jessica, who's in the office being interviewed, leaving him to be teased by some of the other officers and detectives regarding his alcohol consumption lately following Teddy's death. Ignoring them, he speaks to the investigator scraping paint off the rope attached to the safe dropped on Acme, before turning to find Jessica standing there in front of him, before she angrily slaps him and tells him off, hoping he's proud of himself and the pictures he took that now have indicted Roger as a criminal before she storms out, to the shock of the other officers. However, as Acme's corpse is taken away on a gurney, the officer walking backwards knocks over a crate of Toon shoes, causing them to burst out and scatter all over the place. In the confusion that follows as officers and other investigators work to round them up, one slips away and causes one of the officers carrying away Acme's corpse to cause his side of the gurney to collapse, causing Acme's hand buzzer to fall off onto the floor. As Eddie goes to pick it up, the end of a long black cane pushes its trigger just as his hand closes around it, causing it to shock him, before he looks up to see the ominous face of Judge Doom glaring down at him. Santino quickly arrives to save Eddie from being charged with stealing evidence from the crime scene by Doom, but when he asks for the hand buzzer, Eddie is more than happy to oblige as he gives him a dose of his own medicine by shocking him with it. He cracks a smile, thinking Eddie's sense of humor has not faded, but he retorts that he was hired by Maroon, not a Toon. Doom assures that he already knows about it, and the fact that Roger mentioned that he and Jessica would be happy after seeing the photos of her with Acme. After telling Eddie off by saying to Santino, "From the smell of him, I'd say it was the booze talking," Doom assures that Roger won't get far as his men would find him, cuing the arrival of the Toon Patrol in their L.A.P.D. paddy wagon.
After the Toon Patrol crash their vehicle, Doom asks if Eddie knows where Roger is, but he feigns ignorance. Doom is not pleased with him and his taking of the case so lightly, but his attention is soon drawn to the Toon shoe that escaped earlier, now cuddling up against his. He puts on a long rubber glove as he tells Eddie that he's been trying to reign in the insanity in Toontown by making Toons respect the law, before grabbing the shoe and taking it over to the Toon Patrol's vehicle. Out of his earshot, Eddie asks Santino how he got to be a judge, and Santino reasons that he spread a bunch of cash around Toontown that bought the election for him. It is then Eddie asks about the large drum can the Toon Patrol had in their vehicle, and as Doom flings off its lid to reveal the bubbling hot concoction inside, Santino reveals it to be Doom's surefire way to kill a Toon: A mixture of turpentine, acetone, and benzene, aptly dubbed the "Dip". With that, Doom executes the helpless Toon shoe, leaving Eddie in shocked disbelief as Santino looks away in distress. Once it's over, Doom confronts Eddie again, warning him that "this is how we handle things down in Toontown", and hope he of all people can agree with it.
Eddie returns to his office later to find Baby Herman outside of it, who tells him that Acme left his will behind to entrust Toontown to the Toons should anything happen to him. Eddie sees that he had it on him when playing pattycake with Jessica, but brushes it aside thinking it's not his problem now. However, he changes his mind upon discovering Roger hiding out in his office to escape Judge Doom and the Toon Patrol. He teams up with Roger to find the killer, resulting in them trying to hide Roger in a secret room at the Terminal Bar. He later runs into Jessica in his office, asking for his help, where she reveals that she was forced into playing pattycake with Acme under the threat of Maroon firing Roger and blacklisting him from ever performing in Hollywood again. Dolores comes upon them around that time, and is furious with Eddie, thinking he was cheating on her. However, once outside the building in which Valiant & Valiant is located, he tries to cheer her up with planning another trip to Catalina Island, but she reveals the real reason she came to his office: Cloverleaf Industries recently put the highest bid out for Toontown, and if Acme's will fails to show up by midnight that night, Toontown will be Cloverleaf's property to do with as they please. Eddie is stunned to learn Cloverleaf is buying up Toontown alongside the Red Car Trolley, but is forced to forget about it when he and Dolores hear Roger performing in the Terminal Bar.
Soon enough, Judge Doom and the Toon Patrol arrive looking for Roger, but none of the patrons are willing to give his location up thanks to his earlier entertainment before Eddie intervened. Doom manages to lure Roger out, but Eddie is able to prolong his demise by convincing Doom to allow him a final drink. However, this causes him to suffer another allergic reaction to the alcohol, giving Eddie time to overpower the Toon Patrol, save Roger, and escape, busting Roger's fellow Toon, Benny the Cab, out of the Toon Patrol's vehicle. After a harrowing chase involving the Toon Patrol and two L.A.P.D. motorcycle cops, Eddie, Roger, and Benny manage to give them the slip. While they're hiding out in a movie theater after escaping the Toon Patrol, Eddie comes clean about his past by telling Roger of Teddy's death by the hands of a Toon, allowing them to make amends for Eddie's earlier mistreatment of Roger and create a strong friendship between them.
Learning from a newsreel of Maroon having recently sold Maroon Cartoons to Cloverleaf Industries, adding onto what Dolores told Eddie earlier about Toontown and the Pacific Electric Red Car Trolley, he finds the connection he was looking for regarding Acme's murder, and heads to the studio to confront Maroon. After Maroon finds Roger's love letter (actually Acme's will) and snatches it from Eddie, when he returns it in anger, Eddie sprays him with seltzer water and decks him before dragging him to his feet and forces him to confess to Cloverleaf's intentions. Running his tie through the film projector, Eddie learns that he could only sell his studios if Acme agreed to sell his property to Cloverleaf first. When Acme refused, Maroon planned to blackmail him with the pattycake pictures. He had no intent to see Toons destroyed. When Eddie demands info on that, Maroon pleads that if he confesses he's a dead man, but as Eddie fires up the projector again, Maroon concedes and only gets as far as telling him that if Acme's will does not show up by midnight, "Toontown is going to be land of the free...", before a gun Eddie barely notices peering out from behind the blinds aiming his way fires at him and Maroon, striking the latter several times before missing Eddie with the remaining shots and quickly retreats. When Eddie recovers, he sees Maroon dead from the gunshot wounds he suffered, and then spots Jessica fleeing the scene. After watching her car depart the studios, seeing no sign of Roger and realizing something happened to him, he gives pursuit of her, tailing her until she enters the tunnel leading into Toontown itself.
Despite his hatred of Toons and trepidation to set foot in Toontown again, Eddie pulls out the trusty Toon Revolver Yosemite Sam gave him, along with its Toon Bullets, who are more than happy to see action again and happily load up into it. After firing one of them to shatter his empty bottle of alcohol after dumping out the remaining contents to signify him giving up drinking and returning to action with taking Toon cases, he heads into Toontown. He ends up crashing into the back of Jessica's car while distracted by some Toon hummingbirds, which had crashed into a pile of Toon junk itself. Spotting what appears to be Jessica in an upstairs apartment window, he heads up via an elevator manned by Droopy, suffering some of the effects of Toontown's Toon logic in the process. However, who he saw is revealed to be the ugly Lena Hyena, who immediately charges him to give him a kiss.
This forces Eddie to take shelter in the men's room to hide from her, only to find that the entire room is completely gone, leaving him dangling in midair before plunging toward the ground. He momentarily stops his fall grabbing hold of a flagpole, but Tweety Bird ends up sending him falling once more. This time he runs into Mickey Mouse and his rival and friend, Bugs Bunny, who he pleads for an spare parachute from, but Bugs gives him a bag that contains a spare tire instead, being the stinker that he is. Luckily, Eddie's potential splatter on the Toontown street is prevented when he is saved by Lena. As a reward for saving him, she gives him a kiss like she wanted to do before, and his struggling to escape her sends him tumbling up the street. As she approaches to smother him again, his quick thinking in redirecting the street's center line into the side of a building leads to her knocking herself out cold.
- “Toons... gets 'em every time.”
Hearing footsteps in the nearby alleyway, Eddie carefully makes his way in, being momentarily distracted when his shadow pardons him for sneezing. However, he soon hears Jessica behind him, aiming a revolver at him, and throws his hands up in surrender, not noticing another shadow with the same long-barreled gun that murdered Maroon taking aim at him as he turns to face her. She quickly warns him to look out behind him before she fires and causes the owner of the shadow aiming at him to topple backwards, dropping his firearm. Eddie quickly turns his Toon revolver on Jessica and orders her to drop her gun, which she does, before showing him Maroon's murder weapon, and revealing that it was Judge Doom who pulled the trigger. She arrived at the studio to try and stop him, but was too late to do so.
- “That's right! You'll never stop me! You're dead! You're both dead!"
- ―Judge Doom and Eddie
Eddie fires on Doom with his Toon revolver, but he ducks down a side alley, resulting in the Toon bullets taking off in the opposite direction. With no other option left, Jessica and Eddie return to where they crashed their cars, only to find his gone, along with Roger, whom Jessica explains that she knocked out with her frying pan and put in the trunk of her car for protection back at Maroon Cartoons. Eddie soon sees a path of carnage up the street behind them, and figures it must have been Roger. However, the Toon Patrol soon appears heading up the street toward them, and as Eddie tries to direct Jessica toward Gingerbread Lane, he summons Benny, who helps them escape back down the tunnel from Toontown, only for Doom to be waiting with a vat of Dip, which causes Benny to spin out and crash, knocking him out cold and flinging Eddie and Jessica to the ground. The Toon Patrol arrive shortly afterwards, and Doom has Eddie and Jessica captured and taken to the Acme Factory.
Once there, Doom reveals that with it being 15 minutes to midnight, and still no sign of Acme's will, Toontown will be legally his soon enough. When he announces his intent to retire soon, Eddie guesses it involves Cloverleaf Industries, and Doom reveals himself to be the sole stockholder before revealing his ultimate weapon to wipe Toontown off the face of the Earth, The Dip Machine. He then goes on to explain how he stumbled on a little plan the Los Angeles City Council was discussing recently, something called a "freeway". Eddie is stunned he went to all this trouble with murdering Maroon and Acme just for that, but as he envisions what it will look like, Eddie scoffs at the idea by mentioning how people could take the Pacific Electric Railway for cheap, only for Doom to bring up that he bought the Red Car Trolley as well to dismantle its fleet, forcing people to use their own cars instead. Roger soon arrives and holds Doom at gunpoint, but Greasy is able to knock him out with a ton of bricks, literally, and Eddie is forced to watch helplessly as he and Jessica are tied up, the Dip Machine is activated, and it looks like Doom has won. However, when he trips on some fake eyeballs, leaving the Toon Patrol laughing their heads off, Eddie tries to make a move to stop them, but Doom warns Smarty of his intent, and Smarty keeps him at gunpoint, under orders from Doom to shoot him dead once Roger and Jessica are Dipped.
However, as Smarty backs Eddie toward a large calliope machine, he manages to start it up, and it plays "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down", as he puts his old clown tricks from his time with his father and Teddy in the circus to good use in getting the Toon Patrol to literally laugh themselves to death. As for Smarty, Eddie is able to kick him in the groin, sending him right into the Dip Machine's reservoir, dissolving him. However, just after Eddie diverts the Dip Machine's water cannon away from Roger and Jessica, he is forced to face Doom in combat, soon being pinned to a metal drum can by a Acme Toon Magnet as Doom prepares to crush him with an Acme steamroller. Eddie escapes thanks to an Acme Portable Hole, and when Doom tries to punch him with a hand covered in Acme Glue, he dodges, leaving Doom to get his hand, then his foot, stuck on the still-moving steamroller's front roller while Eddie deactivates the Dip Machine.
However, Roger soon has Eddie look over Doom after he got squished by the steamroller. He survives and reveals himself to be a Toon as well. Eddie realizes that "that lamebrain freeway idea could only be cooked up by a Toon", only to soon discover to his horror that Doom is the same Toon who murdered Teddy, and is now out to kill him as well. He tries to flee, but Doom is too quick, tossing him aside before restarting the Dip Machine, sending him flying across the factory floor with his arm as a giant Toon anvil, then moving in for the kill with his arm as a large Toon buzzsaw. Eddie dodges the first lunge as he goes for a Toon mallet that contains a spring-loaded boxing glove, rolls away to dodge the second, but as Doom prepares for the third, Eddie raises the glove and lets it fly, but while Doom easily sidesteps the attack, the glove ends up hitting the Dip Machine's main drain valve, opening it and sending a gush of Dip flying at Doom, who barely has time to react in horror before he's sent flying by the initial blast as the Dip drains rapidly out of the Dip Machine and floods the factory, saving Jessica and Roger, but leaving Doom in a flood of his own concoction, which soon begins to do to him what he had done to so many Toons before that dared to cross his path, fatally dissolving him, allowing Eddie to avenge Teddy's murder and end Doom's wrath forever.
The now-emptied Dip Machine itself is destroyed after breaking through the wall to Toontown as it is broadsided by a Toon train, and after Eddie washes the Dip flooding the factory down the drain with the factory's emergency fire hydrant system, he brings Roger and Jessica down and frees them. As he looks over at Toontown with pride at saving it from certain destruction, his attention soon turns to the front of the factory as Benny and the L.A.P.D. arrive, including Dolores and Lt. Santino. Eddie helps clear up Roger's innocence as he presents the rope used to murder Acme and what's left of Doom's human disguise to Santino, thus vindicating Roger, before all of the Toons emerge from Toontown to look over Doom's remains and wonder what kind of Toon he really was. Soon enough, when Dolores points out ink on Eddie's shirt that Acme sprayed it with back at the club, when Roger reveals it to be Acme's Disappearing/Reappearing Ink, Eddie realizes that the love letter Roger wrote to Jessica is Acme's will, written in the same ink, and has Roger read it just as what Acme typed reappears, thereby entrusting Toontown to the Toons, and protecting it from further threats.
As the Toons celebrate, Roger wonders if Eddie's days of hating Toons are over, but while he thinks so, Roger decides to test him by giving him a shock of Acme's Hand Buzzer. When he shows contempt afterwards as he glares at Roger, everyone braces for the worst, only for him to pick Roger up and give him a big kiss (much to his disgust), revealing that his days of hating Toons are finally over now that Teddy's death had been avenged, and together with Dolores, Roger, and Jessica, he heads into Toontown as the Toons follow after singing "Smile Darn Ya Smile".
According to the non-canon graphic novel Roger Rabbit: The Resurrection of Doom, Eddie has given up drinking, but now tends to consume jelly beans quite a bit.
In the non-canon sub-sequel novel set after the film, Who P-P-P-Plugged Roger Rabbit?, Eddie is adamant to no longer take any Toon cases but is forced to do so when Baby Herman is sadly found dead.
Despite Bob Hoskins' passing, Eddie made what is probably his first appearance at a Disney park as a face character in 2013 during the Disneyland Paris portion of the Disney Dreamers Everywhere events.
Eddie reappeared at Disneyland Paris for the Fandaze Event in 2018, having meet-and-greets with Roger.
- Before Hoskins was cast, several other actors were considered for the role of Eddie.
- Harrison Ford was Spielberg's original choice for the role, but he was too expensive for it.
- Chevy Chase was the second choice for the role, but he turned it down as he wasn't interested in it.
- Bill Murray was also considered for the role, but due to his method of receiving offers for roles, he missed out on it.
- Eddie Murphy was also considered for the role, but he reportedly turned it down, and later regretted it.
- Robert Redford, Jack Nicholson, Sylvester Stallone, Wallace Shawn, Ed Harris, Charles Grodin, Paul Newman, Don Lane, and Robin Williams were also considered for the role.
- Pete Renaday portrayed Eddie in a screen test.
- Eddie's hard-boiled attitude seems to derive from Dick Tracy or other such detectives. In the 1988 film, he was made to portray the film noir detective character usually found in Humphrey Bogart or Alan Ladd, while maintaining the Dick Tracy attitude.
- Although little or nothing is heard about the methods employed by Teddy, the items on his side of the desk in Eddie's office suggest that he was based more on Sherlock Holmes, judging by the tobacco pipe and magnifying glass.
- Eddie looks like a composite of Peter Falk of the TV series Columbo and film private eye Philip Marlowe, wearing a shiny brown suit and beat-up fedora above a craggy face.
- Eddie's character is somewhat different in the film. 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 was British and had a Cockney accent, and Eddie was raised in California.
- Eddie is similar to Lucky Piquel in Bonkers.
- Although Eddie is the overall protagonist and has bigger plans, Roger drives the plot and is more iconic than him.
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988): NotStarring at IMDb