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Albert Finney Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (3)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (37)  | Personal Quotes (10)  | Salary (2)

Overview (4)

Born in Salford, Greater Manchester, England, UK
Died in London, England, UK  (chest infection)
Nickname Albie
Height 5' 9" (1.75 m)

Mini Bio (1)

The son of a Lancashire bookmaker, Albert Finney came to motion pictures via the theatre. In 1956, he won a scholarship to RADA where his fellow alumni included Peter O'Toole and Alan Bates. He joined the Birmingham Repertory where he excelled in plays by William Shakespeare. A member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Finney understudied Laurence Olivier at Stratford-upon-Avon, eventually acquiring a reputation as 'the new Olivier'. He first came to critical attention by creating the title role in Keith Waterhouse's "Billy Liar" on the London stage. His film debut soon followed with The Entertainer (1960) by Tony Richardson with whom had earlier worked in the theatre. With the changing emphasis in 60s British cinema towards gritty realism and working-class milieus, Finney's typical screen personae became good-looking, often brooding proletarian types and rebellious anti-heroes as personified by his Arthur Seaton in Karel Reisz's Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960). His exuberant defining role, however, was in the bawdy period romp Tom Jones (1963) in which Finney revealed a substantial talent for comedy. In the same vein, he scored another hit opposite Audrey Hepburn in the charming marital comedy Two for the Road (1967).

By 1965, Finney had branched out into production, setting up Memorial Enterprises in conjunction with Michael Medwin. In 1968, he directed himself in Charlie Bubbles (1968) and three years later produced the Chandleresque homage Gumshoe (1971), in which he also starred as Eddie Ginley, a bingo-caller with delusions of becoming a private eye. From 1972 to 1975, Finney served as artistic director of the Royal Court Theatre. His intermittent forays to the screen confirmed him as a versatile international actor of note, though not what one might describe as a mainstream star. His roles have ranged from Ebenezer Scrooge in the musical version of Scrooge (1970) to Daddy Warbucks in Annie (1982) and (in flamboyant over-the-top make-up) Hercule Poirot in Murder on the Orient Express (1974). He appeared as Minister of Police Joseph Fouché in Ridley Scott's superb period drama The Duellists (1977) and as a grandiloquent Shakespearean actor in The Dresser (1983) for which he received an Oscar nomination. For the small screen Finney essayed Pope John Paul II (1984) and was a totally believable Winston Churchill in the acclaimed The Gathering Storm (2002). His final movie credit was in the James Bond thriller Skyfall (2012).

Finney was five-times nominated for Academy Awards in 1964, 1975, 1984, 1985 and 2001. He won two BAFTA Awards in 1961 and 2004. True to his working-class roots, he spurned a CBE in 1980 and a knighthood in 2000, later explaining his decision by stating that the 'Sir thing' "slightly perpetuates one of our diseases in England, which is snobbery". Albert Finney was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2011. He died on February 7 2019 at a London hospital from a chest infection at the age of 82.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: I.S.Mowis

Spouse (3)

Pene Delmage (2006 - 7 February 2019) ( his death)
Anouk Aimée (7 August 1970 - 1978) ( divorced)
Jane Wenham (1957 - 1961) ( divorced) ( 1 child)

Trade Mark (1)

His versatility as an actor and range of voices and accents

Trivia (37)

He became a father for the first time at age 22 when his now first ex-wife Jane Wenham gave birth to their son Simon Finney on September 16, 1958.
He was the only actor to call Audrey Hepburn a bitch on screen, which he did in Two for the Road (1967).
He allegedly declined a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 1980 and Knighthood in 2000 for his services to drama.
He was awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 1987 (1986 season) for Best Actor in a New Play for "Orphans".
He was awarded the 1986 London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actor for his performance in "Orphans".
He graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and became an Associate Member.
He was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England, where he performed for three seasons in the early 1980s. In the late 1950s, he appeared at the RSC's earlier incarnation, the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, where he was mentored by Charles Laughton.
He did not have an agent or a manager.
He felt the lead role in Tom Jones (1963) wasn't serious enough and agreed to star only if he got a producing credit; he later traded the credit for profit participation. He later earned an Oscar nomination for this role.
As an aspiring actor in the mid-1950s, he made the rounds with Michael Polley, the father of Sarah Polley. Michael Polley says that Finney compared actors to bricklayers, in terms of craft.
He was the first choice of Laurence Olivier to take over his post as the head of Britain's National Theatre. Finney had played a season shortly after the National Theatre's inaugural season in 1963-1964. Finney declined the offer.
He was twice nominated for Broadway's Tony Award as Best Actor (Dramatic): in 1964 for playing the title character of Martin Luther in John Osborne's "Luther," and in 1968 for Peter Nichols' "A Day in the Death of Joe Egg.".
He played Michael Medwin's uncle in Scrooge (1970) even though he is actually more than twelve years younger than him.
He was originally chosen for the title role in Lawrence of Arabia (1962) after a screen test shot over four days at a cost of £100,000. He later baulked at the film's monumental shooting schedule, and did not want to commit to such a long term contract and opted to play the title role in Tom Jones (1963), which gave him his first Oscar nomination.
He was initially asked to reprise his role as Hercule Poirot in Death on the Nile (1978). However, he had found the make-up he had to wear for the first movie Murder on the Orient Express (1974) very uncomfortable in the hot interior of the train, and on realizing that he would have to undergo the same experience, this time in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit, he declined the role.
He was the third choice for Hercule Poirot in Murder on the Orient Express (1974). Before him were Alec Guinness and Paul Scofield. Ironically, Agatha Christie felt Finney's performance came closest to her idea of Poirot.
In 1965, he formed Memorial Films in association with Michael Medwin to produce theatrical features, which included Charlie Bubbles (1968), If.... (1968), Gumshoe (1971), Bleak Moments (1971), O Lucky Man! (1973) and Law and Disorder (1974).
He appears, uncredited, in drag as The Matron in the ladies' bathroom scene in Miller's Crossing (1990).
Although he was born working class (and indeed, along with Tom Courtenay, was one of the leading avatars of the wave of working class/provincial actors that revolutionized British theater and film in the 1950s and 1960s), his was a relatively privileged upbringing as his father was a successful bookie.
Rather than attend the Oscar ceremony in 1964, he went on vacation sailing in the South Seas. When informed that he had been beaten as Best Actor by Sidney Poitier, he offered Poitier his heartfelt congratulations. Although nominated another four times in the 1970s, 1980s and 21st century, he never appeared in person at an Oscar ceremony.
He originated the lead roles in the plays "Billy Liar", "Luther" and "A Day in the Death of Joe Egg", all of which were played by other actors when transferred to film.
He was the father of the film technician Simon Finney.
He was awarded the 1991 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Principal Role in a Play for "Another Time" at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, Illinois.
In 1976, he was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor of the year in a Revival for "Hamlet" and "Tamburlaine the Great" at the National Theatre.
He was in the same class with Peter O'Toole at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).
As of 2014, he has appeared in four films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: Tom Jones (1963), The Dresser (1983), Traffic (2000) and Erin Brockovich (2000). Of those, Tom Jones (1963) won in the category. He gave Oscar nominated performances in all of these except Traffic.
His relationship with Anouk Aimée ended when she fell in love with Ryan O'Neal.
He had relationships with actresses Jean Marsh and Diana Quick.
He had been considered for many roles in the James Bond franchise before being cast in Skyfall (2012).
Although he played Roger Livesey's grandson in The Entertainer (1960), he was only 30 years his junior in real life.
He was born on the same day as Glenda Jackson.
He supported Manchester United.
He worked with 5 directors who have won a Best Director Oscar: Tony Richardson, John Huston, Joel Coen, Steven Soderbergh, and Sam Mendes.
Pictured on one of a set of eight British commemorative postage stamps celebrating the 200th anniversary of The Old Vic Theatre, issued 30 August 2018. The stamp shows Finney in a 1975 performance of "Hamlet". Other performers appearing on stamps in this set are Laurence Olivier, Glenda Jackson, Maggie Smith, John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson, Sharon Benson, Judi Dench, John Stride, and Richard Burton.
Son of Alice (Hobson) and Albert Finney, a bookmaker.
Rock band The Smiths, from Finney's native Greater Manchester, wanted to use an image of him from Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960) on the sleeve of their 1984 single "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now". Finney declined, but the band managed to use his name anyway; the video for their "I Started Something I Couldn't Finish" (1987) ends with a squad of youths on bikes cycling past Finney's father Albert's old bookie's shop in Salford. The cover for their 1986 album "The Queen is Dead" features the band posing outside Salford Lads' Club, as local legend has it that Finney was a member (although he actually wasn't).
His ashes were sprinkled outside downtown London.

Personal Quotes (10)

Call me Sir if you like! Maybe people in America think being a Sir is a big deal. But I think we should all be misters together. I think the Sir thing slightly perpetuates one of our diseases in England, which is snobbery. And it also helps keep us 'quaint,' which I'm not a great fan of. You don't get much with the title anymore. That was all carved up by the robber barons in the Middle Ages.
[speaking in 1961] "My job is acting, and that is why I hate interviews or lectures, explaining myself to an audience."
I'm not the romantic type ... I'm a bit like the late, great Peter Sellers, only happy in character roles.
After I played a homosexual character in A Man of No Importance (1994), an American journalist asked if I'd have a rainbow flag on my car's bumper. I said I don't 'do' bumper stickers, but if I did, I'd be pleased to use that one. After all, everyone's included in the rainbow, aren't they?
[on Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960)] "I was the first man to be seen sleeping with another man's wife in an English film."
"On the Waterfront (1954) came out and there were 150 guys [at RADA] all doing Brando impressions".
I just felt I was being used. I wasn't involved ... I felt bored most of the time. - On Tom Jones (1963)
[on Charles Laughton] He was the first kind of legend I actually had contact with professionally, which was very exciting. I admired him in his movies; I'd never seen him on the stage. I thought he was terrific.
[1987 comment on John Huston] I kinda loved John. He was like a second father to me in many ways, which I know may sound odd considering I was 45 when I first worked with him, but when you had to say goodbye there was always this feeling of loss, that terrible sadness that you'd be deprived of his company. I've seen more films by him than anybody else on the planet.
[1967 comment on director Karel Reisz] I think Karel is very good with actors; he's very interested in the actors creating a character and not just relying on personality, he's good at encouraging actors to explore the characterization, and I think that's the kind of acting I'm interested in.

Salary (2)

The Duellists (1977) A case of champagne
Annie (1982) $1,000,000

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