Albert Finney attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and worked in the theatre before attaining prominence on screen in the early 1960s, debuting with The Entertainer, directed by Tony Richardson, who had previously directed him in the theatre.
65 Facts About Albert Finney
Albert Finney maintained a successful career in theatre, film and television.
Albert Finney is known for his roles in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, Tom Jones, Two for the Road, Scrooge, Annie, The Dresser, Miller's Crossing, A Man of No Importance, Erin Brockovich, Big Fish, The Bourne Ultimatum, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, and the James Bond film Skyfall.
Albert Finney was educated at Tootal Drive Primary School, Salford Grammar School and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, from which he graduated in 1956.
Albert Finney graduated from RADA and became a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Albert Finney was offered a contract by the Rank Organisation but turned it down to perform for the Birmingham Rep.
Albert Finney was in a production of The Miser for Birmingham Rep, which was filmed for the BBC in 1956.
In 1959 Albert Finney appeared at Stratford in the title role in Coriolanus, replacing an ill Laurence Olivier.
Albert Finney guest starred on several episodes of Emergency-Ward 10 and was Lysander in a TV version of A Midsummer Night's Dream directed by Peter Hall.
Albert Finney made his film breakthrough in the same year with his portrayal of a disillusioned factory worker in Karel Reisz's film version of Alan Sillitoe's Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, produced by Richardson.
Albert Finney then did Billy Liar on stage and for British television.
However, Albert Finney baulked at signing a multi-year contract for producer Sam Spiegel and chose not to accept the role.
Albert Finney created the title role in Luther, the 1961 play by John Osborne depicting the life of Martin Luther.
Albert Finney performed the role with the English Stage Company in London, Nottingham, Paris and New York.
The original West End run at the Phoenix ended in March 1962, after 239 performances there, when Albert Finney had to leave the cast to fulfil a contractual obligation with a film company.
Albert Finney starred in the Academy Award-winning 1963 film Tom Jones, directed by Richardson and written by Osborne.
Albert Finney followed this with a small part in ensemble war movie The Victors, which was not a success.
Albert Finney then made his Broadway debut in Luther in 1963.
The success of Tom Jones enabled Albert Finney to produce his next film, Night Must Fall, in 1964, which he starred in and which was directed by Reisz.
Albert Finney undertook a season of plays at the Royal National Theatre, including Miss Julie by August Strindberg in 1965.
Albert Finney returned to films with Two for the Road co starring Audrey Hepburn.
Albert Finney starred in The Picasso Summer in 1969, and played the title role in the musical Scrooge in 1970.
Albert Finney then made Gumshoe, the first feature film directed by Stephen Frears, for Memorial.
In 1972 Albert Finney returned to the stage after a six-year absence with Alpha Beta, which he later filmed for TV with Rachel Roberts.
Albert Finney played Agatha Christie's Belgian master detective Hercule Poirot in the film Murder on the Orient Express.
Albert 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.
Albert Finney received nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actor and the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
Albert Finney announced he intended to direct a film, The Girl in Melanie Klein, for Memorial, but it was not made.
Albert Finney decided to take time off from features and focus on stage acting, doing classics at the National Theatre in London.
Albert Finney was at the National for over three years during which he played in Hamlet, Macbeth, Tamburlaine, and plays by Anton Chekhov.
Albert Finney made a TV film Forget-Me-Not-Lane in 1975, which was written by Peter Nichols, and he performed a cameo role in The Duellists, the first feature directed by Ridley Scott.
Albert Finney had not played a lead role in a feature film in six years, and started to think about returning to cinema.
Albert Finney received excellent reviews for his performance in the drama Shoot the Moon.
Albert Finney starred in Peter Yates-directed film The Dresser as Sir, a deteriorating veteran actor struggling through a difficult performance of King Lear.
Albert Finney then played the title role in the TV movie Pope John Paul II, his American television debut.
Albert Finney played the lead role of Sydney Kentridge in The Biko Inquest, a 1984 dramatisation of the inquest into the death of Steve Biko which was filmed for television following a London run.
Albert Finney had the lead in a television miniseries, The Endless Game, written and directed by Bryan Forbes.
Albert Finney began the 1990s with the lead role in a film for HBO, The Image.
Albert Finney received great acclaim playing the gangster boss in Miller's Crossing, replacing Trey Wilson shortly before filming.
Albert Finney starred in the BBC TV serial The Green Man, based on the Kingsley Amis novel.
Albert Finney followed it with The Playboys for Gillies MacKinnon; Rich in Love for Bruce Beresford; The Browning Version for Mike Figgis; A Man of No Importance, for Suri Krishnamma; and The Run of the Country for Peter Yates.
In 1994, Albert Finney played a gay bus conductor in early 1960s Dublin in A Man of No Importance.
Albert Finney had the lead role in Dennis Potter's final two plays, Karaoke and Cold Lazarus.
Albert Finney did Nostromo for television, and Washington Square for Agnieszka Holland then made A Rather English Marriage with Tom Courtenay.
Albert Finney had supporting roles in Breakfast of Champions and Simpatico.
Albert Finney had his biggest hit in several years with Erin Brockovich, alongside Julia Roberts for Steven Soderbergh.
Albert Finney had a cameo in Soderbergh's Traffic and played Ernest Hemingway in Hemingway, the Hunter of Death for TV.
Albert Finney had the lead in Delivering Milo and in 2002 his critically acclaimed portrayal of Winston Churchill in The Gathering Storm won him British Academy of Film and Television Arts, Emmy and Golden Globe awards as Best Actor.
Albert Finney 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.
Albert Finney had a key role in Big Fish directed by Tim Burton, and did another cameo for Soderbergh in Ocean's Twelve.
Albert Finney sang in Tim Burton's Corpse Bride and the film of Aspects of Love.
Albert Finney was reunited with Ridley Scott in A Good Year.
Albert Finney had support roles in Amazing Grace, The Bourne Ultimatum, and Before the Devil Knows You're Dead.
Albert Finney received Tony Award nominations for Luther and A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, and starred on stage in Love for Love, Strindberg's Miss Julie, Black Comedy, The Country Wife, Alpha Beta, Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape, Tamburlaine the Great, Another Time and, his last stage appearance, in 1997, "Art" by Yasmina Reza, which preceded the 1998 Tony Award-winning Broadway run.
Albert Finney won an Olivier Award for Orphans in 1986 and won three Evening Standard Theatre Awards for Best Actor.
Albert Finney never abandoned stage work and continued his association with the National Theatre Company in London, where he had performed in the mid-1960s in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing at the Old Vic and Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard in the 1970s at the National Theatre.
In 1970, nearly a decade after his divorce from Wenham, Albert Finney married French actress Anouk Aimee, a union that lasted eight years.
Albert Finney then married for the third and last time in 2006, to Penelope Delmage, who at the time was working as a travel agent.
Albert Finney died of a chest infection at the Royal Marsden Hospital on 7 February 2019; he was 82.
Albert Finney declined the offer of a CBE in 1980, as well as a knighthood in 2000.
Albert Finney was honoured by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association as Best Actor for Under the Volcano, 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.
Albert Finney 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.
Albert Finney was nominated for The Gathering Storm, for Best Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries, but did not win.
Albert Finney won the Silver Berlin Bear award for Best Actor, for The Dresser, at the 34th Berlin International Film Festival in 1984.
Albert Finney won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor, for Tom Jones, at the Venice Film Festival.