Julia Roberts with Albert Finney in scene from film Erin Brockovich. Picture: Supplied
Julia Roberts with Albert Finney in scene from film Erin Brockovich. Picture: Supplied

Erin Brockovich star dead at 82

ALBERT Finney, the legendary Oscar nominated actor of Tom Jones, Erin Brockovich and Skyfall fame has died at the age of 82.

The Sun reports that Finney passed away yesterday, it was confirmed.

Albert Finney in scene from Erin Brockovich with Julia Roberts. Picture: Supplied
Albert Finney in scene from Erin Brockovich with Julia Roberts. Picture: Supplied

Details of his death have not yet been revealed but in 2011 it was revealed he was fighting kidney cancer.

Born in the Salford village of Pendelton on May 9, 1936, Finney grew up as the son of a successful bookkeeper, attending local schools before gaining a place studying drama at RADA.

 

Albert Finney shaved his head to appear as Daddy Warbucks in the 1982 film Annie. Picture: Supplied
Albert Finney shaved his head to appear as Daddy Warbucks in the 1982 film Annie. Picture: Supplied

At the start of his career he was known as primarily a theatre actor and was frequently cast in William Shakespeare plays.

But before long his versatility and ability to step into any role - no matter what the characters' age, nationality or background - made him a popular choice for directors as well as co-actors.

Albert Finney portrayed Poirot in the 1974 film Murder on The Orient Express. Picture: Supplied
Albert Finney portrayed Poirot in the 1974 film Murder on The Orient Express. Picture: Supplied

 

Albert Finney with his Academy fellowship award. Picture: AFP
Albert Finney with his Academy fellowship award. Picture: AFP

His first film appearance was in The Entertainer in 1960, where he appeared alongside Laurence Olivier.

He would make his breakthrough in the same year with the portrayal of a disillusioned factory worker in Karel Reisz's film version of Saturday Night and Sunday Morning.

In 1963 Finney's success in Tom Jones led him being voted the ninth most popular box office star of the year.

FIVE OSCAR NOMINATIONS

He was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for the role but did not win.

It proved to be the first of five unsuccessful attempts, with him being nominated for Murder on the Orient Express in 1974, The Dresser in 1983 and Under the Volcano in 1984.

He was also nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for Erin Brokovich in 2000.

Albert Finney, centre, as Hercule Poirot in Murder On The Orient Express 1974. Picture: Supplied
Albert Finney, centre, as Hercule Poirot in Murder On The Orient Express 1974. Picture: Supplied

His varied roles included roles as Scrooge and Hercule Poirot and Winston Churchill in The Gathering Storm lent an impressive longevity to his career.

He also famously played the role of Daddy Warbucks in the 1982 hit musical Annie.

His final film credit was in the James Bond film Skyfall in 2012, where he plays the bearded Scottish gamekeeper Kincade.

Director Sam Mendes said he chose Finney for his ability "to move like a cat".

Albert Finney as Kincade in James Bond movie Skyfall. Picture: Supplied
Albert Finney as Kincade in James Bond movie Skyfall. Picture: Supplied

Finney became a father for the first time at the age of 22 when his ex-wife Jane Wenham gave birth to their son, Simon Finney.

In total he was married three times - to actress Anouk Aimee in 1970 before divorcing eight years later.

He married his current wife, Pene Delmage, in 2006, and they lived together in London until his death.

Albert Finney with Jessica Lange in Big Fish. Picture: Supplied
Albert Finney with Jessica Lange in Big Fish. Picture: Supplied

 

Philip Seymour Hoffman, left, and Albert Finney in Before The Devil Knows You're Dead. Picture: Supplied
Philip Seymour Hoffman, left, and Albert Finney in Before The Devil Knows You're Dead. Picture: Supplied

Though in many ways part of the establishment, Finney remained independent in his craft, refusing to take on an agent or a manager.

He also refused a knighthood and CBE, describing the accolades as "snobbery".

On Friday afternoon celebrity tributes poured in celebrating the five-time-Oscar-nominated actor as Daniel Craig released a statement about the late actor:

"I'm deeply saddened by the news of Albert Finney's passing," he said. "The world has lost a giant. Wherever Albert is now, I hope there are horses and good company.

Other actors and filmmakers paid tribute on Twitter:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This article originally appeared in The Sun and is republished here with permission


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