Renowned British actor, Albert Finney, tragically died today after a short illness. He was 82 years old. Finney had a long and established career, which began in the theatre, before switching to roles in film. He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, England and became a prominent film actor in the 1960s, emerging as an original “angry young man” actor of the period. His debut performance on film was in Tony Richardson’s The Entertainer (1960) and he became known for a variety of roles with a career spanning six decades.
His incredibly impressive filmography consists of: Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960), Tom Jones (1963), Two for the Road (1967), Scrooge (1970), Murder on the Orient Express (1974), Annie (1982), The Dresser (1983), Miller’s Crossing (1990), Erin Brockovich (2000), Big Fish (2003), A Good Year (2006), The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007), and the 2012 James Bond film, Skyfall.
Finney has been nominated for five Academy Awards. Four times for Actor in a Leading Role, for Tom Jones (1963), Murder on the Orient Express (1974), The Dresser (1983), and Under the Volcano (1984). He also received a nomination in 2000 for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Erin Brockovich. In later years, he declined a CBE and a Knighthood.
Albert Finney was something special and, in many ways, underrated. His five-time loss of an Academy Award can attest to that. He could do so much with so little and, no matter the role, he was irreplaceable. You couldn’t take you eyes off him. Whether he was silently pensive in the background or screaming in another actor’s face, Finney was always your focus. A tremendous loss to cinema and British film history.
“I don’t think that we necessarily lie. I mean, we make our living by pretending that we’re someone else. I don’t tell tall tales. I always tell the truth.”
1936 – 2019