He was one of the best actors of his time. He mixed his movie career with television roles and acclaimed stage performances.
Earlier this week, Albert Finney passed away at the age of 82. The British actor was described as ‘smouldering young Spencer Tracy' by legendary critic Kenneth Tynan even before he emerged from the school stage. The actor was endorsed by the great Laurence Olivier as his successor, in other words, the new crown prince of the West End. He turned the opportunity to take the crown, as he did with many other opportunities and honors that came cascading towards him. Nonetheless, he made his name and his mark without them all. The British actor was nominated five times for the Oscar but sadly. He is known for his roles in "Annie," "Erin Brockovich" and "Tom Jones,". According to his family, Finney died after a short illness. Representatives say that he died a peaceful death with all those closest to him, by his side at the time of passing. As reported by CNN, the actor was suffering from a chest infection and was admitted to the Royal Marsden Hospital in London before he passed away.
The actor was born into a working-class family in Salford, England. He first started out as a theatre artist when he joined the Royal Academy Of Dramatic Art at the age of 17. His first on-screen appearance came in in 1960 in the movie 'The Entertainer'. In the same year, he got an opportunity to star in another film called, 'Saturday Night and Sunday Morning'. The very next year, Finney won the BAFTA award for the most promising newcomer for his work in 'Kitchen Sink', a movie that showed the working-class life in Britain. Something he could relate to easily.
Albert Finney became a major star after playing the lead role in the movie 'Tom Jones'. He received the first of five Oscar nominations of his career for his work in this film. However, Finney was not a very big fan of the Academy Awards, despite repeated nominations. "It seems to me a long way to go just to sit in a non-drinking, non-smoking environment on the off chance your name is called," he said, "It's as if you are entered into a race you don't particularly want to run in." He won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA award for his role as Winston Churchhill in 'The Gathering Storm' many years later.
He also played the title role in Scrooge, billionaire Daddy Warbucks in Annie, Ed Bloom Senior in Tim Burton's Big Fish and the mobster Leo O'Bannon in Miller's Crossing. Out of five Oscar nominations, one of them included the award for the best supporting role. He got back-to-back nominations in 1984 and 1985 for 'The Dresser and Under the Volcano'. Finney never really attended the ceremony as he thought it was a "waste of time". Finney also received a British Academy Fellowship in 2001. His last film role came in 2012 James Bond film Skyfall, in which he played the irascible gamekeeper Kincaid.
After his death was announced, the world of theatre and film came together to pay their respects. Actor Rufus Sewell tweeted: "Very sad to hear about Albert Finney. I had the enormous privilege of working with him early on. Apart from being effortlessly great, he was also a great all-around example of how to behave." Bristol's Old Vic Theatre tweeted their condolences, "We are very sad to hear of the loss of Albert Finney. His performances in plays by Shakespeare, Chekhov and other iconic playwrights throughout the 60s, 70s, and 80s stand apart as some of the greatest in our 200-year history."
We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Albert Finney. He was a huge part of the National Theatre acting company from its early days in Chichester and performed many roles over the years, including Hamlet which opened the Lyttelton Theatre in 1976. pic.twitter.com/IxWt6ayXCM— National Theatre (@NationalTheatre) February 8, 2019
The actor was a life-long fan of football club Manchester United. Out of all the opportunities and honors that he turned down in life, he declined a CBE in 1980 and a knighthood in 2000. "I think the Sir thing slightly perpetuates one of our diseases in England, which is snobbery," he said, as reported by BBC. Other than that, he also turned down a lot of interviews and never really discussed his craft. He said, "My job is acting, and that is why I hate interviews or lectures, explaining myself to an audience,". He might have turned a lot of things down but never turned down a woman.
Women loved Finney and he loved them back equally. He was married three times and got divorced twice. In the middle of these marriages, he escorted and lived with a roll call of stunning actresses. The gossip columns were no stranger to his affairs. Some of the columns reported his affairs with the likes of singers Joan Baez and Carly Simon, actresses Samantha Eggar, Jacqueline Bisset, Jane Asher, Jill Bennett and model Erica Creer. His most famous of all was his seven-year-long relationship with Diana Quick, the beauty from Brideshead Revisited.
The breadth of his career was immense — from his leading man days through to his reign as the ultimate character actor. Despite all of the success and fame that he had earned in his career, Albert Finney was known for his humility and modesty. He was also known to be one of the sweetest and funniest men in the industry. The reason he initially disappeared from the screen in 2007 was that he was diagnosed with kidney cancer. He made his final appearance in 2012. His legacy will always be remembered and he will always be missed by the stage and the camera. Albert Finney died peacefully at the age of 82.