Oscar-nominated actor Albert Finney, one of the great British actors of his generation who made a worldwide name for himself in 1963’s Tom Jones and maintained a strong career through 2012’s Skyfall, died today. He was 82.
His death was confirmed by his family to the Associated Press, which reported that Finney “passed away peacefully after a short illness with those closest to him by his side.”
Among his Oscar-nominated performances were roles in Tom Jones, Murder on the Orient Express, The Dresser, Under the Volcano and Erin Brockovich.
Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Finney’s moved quickly into film, gaining immediate acclaim for his 1960 debut in Tony Richardson’s The Entertainer. With that year’s Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, produced by Richardson but directed by Karel Reisz, Finney secured his position at the vanguard of British film’s “angry young man” genre. The performance won Finney a BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer To Leading Film Roles.
By 1963, with his charismatic performance as the roguish Tom Jones (another Richardson-directed role), Finney had an Oscar nomination on his resume.
Other highlights of his shape-shifting career include Two for the Road (1967), Scrooge (1970), Annie (1982), The Dresser (1983), Miller’s Crossing (1990), Erin Brockovich (2000), Big Fish (2003), The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007) and The Bourne Legacy (2012).
On the TV side, Finney made his debut for American television in 1984 with the starring role in Pope John Paul II. He was Emmy-nominated for his role in the 1990 HBO movie The Image, and won the award, along with, among others, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA, for his performance as Winston Churchill in 2002’s HBO-BBC co-production The Gathering Storm.
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