Published: Sat, February 09, 2019
Entertaiment | By Simon Arnold

British actor Albert Finney dies aged 82 after short illness

British actor Albert Finney dies aged 82 after short illness

Soderbergh cast him in Traffic and Erin Brockovich and Tim Burton in Corpse Bride and Big Fish.

He started out in William Shakespeare plays before portraying the titular hero in the Oscar-winning adventure-comedy "Tom Jones", which made him a major film star. His most recent-and final-onscreen performance remains the role of Kincade in 2012's James Bond film Skyfall. The 1990s gave him an opportunity to work with the Coen Brothers in Miller's Crossing, and he also expanded into television with roles in miniseries titles like Karaoke, Cold Lazarus and Nostromo.

Finney shot to fame as the star of Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, playing a rambunctious factory worker.

Born in Salford, England, in 1936, Finney went on to graduate from London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

There was no "Albert Finney"-type character that he returned to again and again".

Finney won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for his memorable role as Winston Churchill in The Gathering Storm.

Director Ava DuVernay said seeing Finney's performances in Shoot the Moon and then Annie within a few weeks of each other when she was 10 years old had shown her "what acting means".

Pene Delmage, his third wife, and his son Simon said in a statement that he had "passed away peacefully after a short illness with those closest to him by his side". Finney actually turned down the lead role in Lawrence of Arabia, considered today to be one of the finest films ever made.

The actor was a five-time Oscar nominee.

He will be remembered by many for his Oscar-nominated roles in Erin Brockovich, in which he appeared opposite Julia Roberts, and Murder on the Orient Express, in which he played the detective Hercule Poirot. The decade would also see him getting musical again as Daddy Warbucks in an adaptation of Annie.

They said: "We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Albert Finney".

British actor Albert Finney at the Deauville Festival of American Film in France.

Written by Shelagh Delaney, the tale of a successful writer returning to his Manchester hometown was clearly highly personal for Finney, though it would prove to be his only directorial credit.

Despite this long list of accolades, Finney never attended the Oscars ceremony. Funeral arrangements weren't immediately known.

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