Albert Finney

Albert Finney (born 9 May 1936) is an English actor. Beginning in the theatre, Finney was especially successful in plays by William Shakespeare before he switched to films. He achieved prominence in films in the early 1960s, his debut being The Entertainer, directed by Tony Richardson, who had directed him in theatre plays various times before. He became a leading Free Cinema figure, and has maintained a successful career in theatre, film and television. He is known for his roles in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960), Tom Jones (1963),Scrooge (1970), Annie (1982), The Dresser (1983), Miller's Crossing (1990), Big Fish (2003), The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), The Bourne Legacy (2012), and the James Bond film Skyfall (2012).

A recipient of BAFTA, Golden Globe, Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Awards, Finney has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor four times, for Tom Jones (1963), Murder on the Orient Express (1974), The Dresser (1983), and Under the Volcano (1984); and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Erin Brockovich (2000).

    Early life

    Finney was born in the Charlestown area of Pendleton, Salford, Lancashire, England, the son of Alice (née Hobson) and Albert Finney, Sr., a bookmaker. He was educated at Tootal Drive Primary School, Salford Grammar School and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

    Career

    Finney graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and became a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. His career began in the theatre; he made his first appearance on the London stage in 1958 in Jane Arden's The Party, directed by Charles Laughton, who starred in the production along with his wife, Elsa Lanchester. Then in 1959 he appeared at Stratford in Coriolanus, replacing a sick Laurence Olivier (as Coriolanus).

    His first film appearance was a role in Tony Richardson's The Entertainer (1960), with Laurence Olivier, but he made his breakthrough with his portrayal of a disillusioned factory worker in Karel Reisz's film version of Alan Sillitoe's Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. This led to a series of "Angry Young Man" roles in kitchen sink dramas, before he starred in the Academy Award-winning 1963 film Tom Jones. Prior to this, Finney had been chosen to play T. E. Lawrence in David Lean's production of Lawrence of Arabia after a successful, and elaborate, screen-test that took 4 days to shoot. However, Finney baulked at signing a multi-year contract for Producer Sam Spiegel and chose not to accept the role. The tremendous success of Tom Jones saw British exhibitors vote Finney the ninth most popular star at the box office in 1963.

    After Charlie Bubbles (1968), which he also directed, his film appearances became less frequent as he focused more on acting on stage. During this period, one of his high-profile film roles was as Agatha Christie's Belgian master detective Hercule Poirot in the 1974 film Murder On The Orient Express. Finney became so well known for the role that he complained that it typecast him for a number of years. "People really do think I am 300 pounds with a French accent" he said.

    While being known for his dramatic roles, Finney appeared and sang in two musical films: Scrooge and the Hollywood film version of Annie, which was directed by John Huston, who would direct him once again in Under The Volcano two years later. He also sings in Tim Burton's Corpse Bride.

    Finney made several television productions for the BBC in the 1990s, including The Green Man (1990), based on a novel by Kingsley Amis, the acclaimed drama A Rather English Marriage (1998) (with Tom Courtenay), and the lead role in Dennis Potter's final two plays, Karaoke and Cold Lazarus in 1996 and 1997. In the latter he played a frozen, disembodied head.

    Finney also made an appearance at Roger Waters' The Wall Concert in Berlin, where he played "The Judge" during the performance of "The Trial".

    Even with his success on the big screen, Finney never abandoned his stage performances. He continued his association with the National Theatre Company at the Old Vic in London, where he performed in the mid-1960s in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing and Chekov's The Cherry Orchard. He received Tony Award nominations for Luther (1964) and A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (1968), and also starred onstage in Love for Love, Strindberg's Miss Julie, Black Comedy, The Country Wife, , Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape, Tamburlaine the Great, and, his last stage appearance in 1997, 'Art', which preceded the 1998 Tony Award-winning Broadway run. He won an Olivier Award for Orphans in 1986 and has won three Evening Standard Theatre Awards for Best Actor.

    In 2002 his critically acclaimed portrayal of Winston Churchill in The Gathering Storm won him BAFTA and Emmy awards as Best Actor.

    He also played the title role in the television series My Uncle Silas, based on the short stories by H. E. Bates, about a roguish but lovable poacher-cum-farm labourer looking after his great-nephew. The show ran for two series from 2000 until 2003.

    A lifelong supporter of Manchester United, Finney narrated the documentary Munich, about the aircrash that killed most of the Busby Babes in 1958, which was shown on United's TV channel MUTV in February 2008.

    Personal life

    By his first wife, Jane Wenham, he has a son, Simon, who works in the film industry as a camera operator.

    From 1970 to 1978, he was married to French actress Anouk Aimée.

    In May 2011, Finney disclosed that he had been receiving treatment for kidney cancer.

    Awards and honours

    Albert Finney in 1966

    Finney turned down the offer of a CBE in 1980 and a Knighthood in 2000. He has criticised the honours system for "perpetuating snobbery".

    He has five Oscar nominations but has never won. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor four times, for Tom Jones (1963), Murder on the Orient Express (1974), The Dresser (1983), and Under the Volcano (1984); and was nominated for Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Erin Brockovich (2000).

    Julia Roberts mentioned Albert Finney in her Oscar acceptance speech for Best Actress in Erin Brockovich, thanking him and sharing the Oscar with him.

    Finney has 13 BAFTA nominations (9 film, 4 TV), winning two:

    • 1960 Best British Actor for Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
    • 1960 Most Promising Newcomer for Saturday Night and Sunday Morning Won
    • 1963 Best British Actor for Tom Jones
    • 1973 Best Actor for Gumshoe
    • 1974 Best Actor for Murder on the Orient Express
    • 1982 Best Actor for Shoot the Moon
    • 1984 Best Actor for The Dresser
    • 1990 Best Actor (BAFTA TV Awards) for The Green Man
    • 1996 Best Actor (BAFTA TV Awards) for Karaoke/Cold Lazarus
    • 1998 Best Actor (BAFTA TV Awards) for A Rather English Marriage
    • 2000 Best Supporting Actor for Erin Brockovich
    • 2002 Best Actor (BAFTA TV Awards) for The Gathering Storm Won
    • 2003 Best Supporting Actor for Big Fish

    In addition Finney received the BAFTA Fellowship in 2001.

    He won an Emmy Award, for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Made for TV Movie, for his performance as Winston Churchill in HBO's The Gathering Storm. He had previously been nominated for the HBO telefilm The Image (1990).

    He has received nine Golden Globe nominations, winning three:

    • 1963 Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for Tom Jones
    • 1963 Most Promising Newcomer (Male) for Tom JonesWon
    • 1970 Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for Scrooge, Won
    • 1982 Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama for Shoot the Moon
    • 1983 Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama for The Dresser
    • 1984 Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama for Under the Volcano
    • 2000 Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for Erin Brockovich
    • 2002 Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television for The Gathering Storm Won
    • 2003 Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for Big Fish

    For his work on Broadway, Finney has been nominated for two Tony Awards, both for Best Actor in a Play, for Luther in 1964, and A Day in the Death of Joe Egg in 1968. For the London stage, he won the Olivier Award, for Best Actor, for Orphans in 1986. He has won the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actor three times, for A Flea in Her Ear in 1966, Tamburlaine the Great in 1976 and Orphans in 1986.

    Other awards include: a Golden Laurel for his work on Scrooge (1970) and for his work on Tom Jones, for which he was the 3rd Place Winner for the "Top Male Comedy Performance" for 1964. He was honoured by the Los Angeles Film Critics' Association as Best Actor for Under the Volcano (which he tied with F. Murray Abraham for Amadeus), the National Board of Review Best Actor award for Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, and the New York Film Critics' Circle Best Actor award for Tom Jones.

    Finney has won two Screen Actors' Guild Awards, for Best Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role, for Erin Brockovich, and as a member of the acting ensemble in the film Traffic. He was also nominated for The Gathering Storm, for Best Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries, but did not win.

    He won the Silver Berlin Bear award for Best Actor, for The Dresser, at the 34th Berlin International Film Festival in 1984.

    He won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor, for Tom Jones, at the Venice Film Festival.

    Filmography

    Film

    Year Title Role Notes
    1960 The Entertainer Mick Rice
    1960 Saturday Night and Sunday Morning Arthur Seaton
    1963 Tom Jones Tom Jones
    1964 Night Must Fall Danny
    1967 Two for the Road Mark Wallace
    1968 Charlie Bubbles Charlie Bubbles Also director
    1969 The Picasso Summer George Smith
    1970 Scrooge Ebenezer Scrooge
    1971 Gumshoe Eddie Ginley
    1974 Murder on the Orient Express Hercule Poirot
    1975 The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother Man In Opera Audience Uncredited Cameo
    1977 The Duellists Fouche
    1981 Looker Dr. Larry Roberts
    1981 Wolfen Dewey Wilson
    1981 Loophole Daniels
    1982 Annie Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks
    1982 Shoot the Moon George Dunlap
    1983 The Dresser Sir
    1984 Under the Volcano Geoffrey Firmin
    1987 Orphans Harold
    1990 Miller's Crossing Leo O'Bannon
    1990 Roger Waters – The Wall (Live in Berlin) The Judge
    1992 The Playboys Hegarty
    1993 Rich in Love Warren Odom
    1994 The Browning Version Andrew Crocker-Harris
    1994 A Man of No Importance Alfred Byrne
    1996 Nostromo Dr. Monyghan
    1997 Washington Square Dr. Austin Sloper
    1999 Breakfast of Champions Kilgore Trout
    1999 Simpatico Simms
    2000 Erin Brockovich Ed Masry
    2000 Traffic White House Chief of Staff
    2001 Delivering Milo Elmore Dahl
    2003 Big Fish Edward Bloom, Sr.
    2004 Ocean's Twelve Gaspar LeMarque ()
    2005 Corpse Bride Finis Everglot (voice)
    2006 A Good Year Uncle Henry Skinner
    2006 Amazing Grace John Newton
    2007 The Bourne Ultimatum Dr. Albert Hirsch
    2007 Before the Devil Knows You're Dead Charles Hanson
    2012 The Bourne Legacy Dr. Albert Hirsch
    2012 Skyfall Kincade

    Television

    Year Title Role Notes
    1959 Emergency Ward 10 Tom Fletcher 4 episodes
    1990 The Image Jason Cromwell Television movie
    Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
    1990 The Green Man Maurice Allington 3 episodes
    Nominated — British Academy Television Award for Best Actor
    1996 Karaoke Daniel Feeld 4 episodes
    Nominated — British Academy Television Award for Best Actor
    1996 Cold Lazarus Daniel Feeld 4 episodes
    Nominated — British Academy Television Award for Best Actor
    1997 Nostromo Dr. Monygham 4 episodes
    1998 A Rather English Marriage Reggie Television movie
    Nominated — British Academy Television Award for Best Actor
    2001–2003 My Uncle Silas Uncle Silas 9 episodes
    2002 The Gathering Storm Winston Churchill Television movie
    British Academy Television Award for Best Actor
    Broadcasting Press Guild Award for Best Actor
    Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
    Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
    Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
    Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie

    Awards and nominations

    Year Association Category Nominated work Result
    1961 BAFTA Awards Best British Actor Saturday Night and Sunday Morning Nominated
    1961 BAFTA Awards Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles Saturday Night and Sunday Morning Won
    1961 National Board of Review Best Actor Saturday Night and Sunday Morning Won
    1964 Academy Awards Best Actor Tom Jones Nominated
    1964 BAFTA Awards Best British Actor Tom Jones Nominated
    1964 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Tom Jones Nominated
    1964 Golden Globe Awards New Star of the Year – Actor Tom Jones Won
    1971 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Scrooge Won
    1972 BAFTA Awards Best Actor Gumshoe Nominated
    1975 Academy Awards Best Actor Murder on the Orient Express Nominated
    1975 BAFTA Awards Best Actor Murder on the Orient Express Nominated
    1982 Saturn Awards Best Actor Wolfen Nominated
    1983 BAFTA Awards Best Actor Shoot the Moon Nominated
    1983 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama Shoot the Moon Nominated
    1984 Academy Awards Best Actor The Dresser Nominated
    1984 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama The Dresser Nominated
    1985 Academy Awards Best Actor Under the Volcano Nominated
    1985 BAFTA Awards Best Actor The Dresser Nominated
    1985 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama Under the Volcano Nominated
    1985 London Critics Circle Film Awards Actor of the Year Under the Volcano Won
    1990 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie The Image Nominated
    1991 BAFTA TV Awards Best Actor on Television The Green Man Nominated
    1994 Boston Society of Film Critics Awards Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor The Browning Version Won
    1997 BAFTA TV Awards Best Actor on Television Cold Lazarus Nominated
    1997 BAFTA TV Awards Best Actor on Television Karaoke Nominated
    1999 BAFTA TV Awards Best Actor on Television A Rather English Marriage Nominated
    2000 Boston Society of Film Critics Awards Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor Erin Brockovich Nominated
    2001 Academy Awards Best Supporting Actor Erin Brockovich Nominated
    2001 BAFTA Awards Best Actor in a Supporting Role Erin Brockovich Nominated
    2001 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards Favorite Supporting Actor – Drama Erin Brockovich Nominated
    2001 Chicago Film Critics Association Awards Best Supporting Actor Erin Brockovich Nominated
    2001 Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Erin Brockovich Nominated
    2001 London Critics Circle Film Awards British Supporting Actor of the Year Erin Brockovich Won
    2001 Online Film Critics Society Awards Best Supporting Actor Erin Brockovich Nominated
    2001 Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Erin Brockovich Nominated
    2001 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Traffic Won
    2001 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role Erin Brockovich Won
    2002 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie The Gathering Storm Won
    2003 BAFTA TV Awards Best Actor on Television The Gathering Storm Won
    2003 Broadcasting Press Guild Awards Best Actor The Gathering Storm Won
    2003 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film The Gathering Storm Won
    2003 Satellite Awards Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film The Gathering Storm Nominated
    2003 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie The Gathering Storm Nominated
    2004 BAFTA Awards Best Actor in a Supporting Role Big Fish Nominated
    2004 Golden Globe Awards Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Big Fish Nominated
    2004 Saturn Awards Best Actor Big Fish Nominated
    2007 Gotham Awards Best Cast Before the Devil Knows You're Dead Won
    2008 Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards Best Cast Before the Devil Knows You're Dead Nominated
    2008 London Critics Circle Film Awards British Supporting Actor of the Year Before the Devil Knows You're Dead Nominated

    References

    External links

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