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Albert Finney
Born 9 May 1936 (1936-05-09) (age 73)
Salford, Lancashire, England, UK
Occupation Actor
Years active 1958–present
Spouse(s) Jane Wenham (1957–1961)
Anouk Aimée (1970–1978)
Katherine Attson (1989–1991)
Pene Delmage (2006–present)

Albert Finney (born 9 May 1936) is an English actor. He achieved prominence in films during the early 1960s, and has maintained a successful career in theatre, film and television.

Contents

Personal life

Finney was born in Pendleton, Salford, Lancashire, to Alice Hobson and Albert Finney, Sr., a bookmaker.[1] He was educated at Tootal Drive Primary School, Salford Grammar School and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. [2]

He has a son by his first wife, Jane Wenham: Simon, who works in the film business as a camera operator; and another son, Declan, with third wife, Katherine Attson.

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

Finney is close friends with his one time classmate Peter O'Toole. He is also good friends with Gene Wilder, whom he met through chance, and accepted a quick cameo in Wilder's The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother.

Career

Finney's 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. Finney is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

His first film was The Entertainer (1960) opposite 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. Finney accepted this role, supposedly turning down the role of T. E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia.

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 typecasted him for a number of years. "People really do think I am 300 pounds with a French accent" he said.

Despite being known for his dramatic roles, Finney appeared in two musicals: Scrooge and the Hollywood film version of Annie, which was directed by John Huston who directed him 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 story 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."

In 2002, he played Winston Churchill in The Gathering Storm, for which he won BAFTA and Emmy awards as Best Actor.

He also played the leading role in the television series My Uncle Silas, about a Cornish country gentleman looking after his great-nephew. The series ran from 2000 until 2002, then again for a mini-series in 2003.

Awards and nominations

Albert Finney turned down the offer of a CBE in 1980 and a knighthood in 2000. He has criticised the honours system for "perpetuating snobbery". [3]

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 received a BAFTA award for Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles in 1961 for Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960). He was also nominated for Best British Actor for the same film. He was nominated nine more times before he finally won again, for the telefilm The Gathering Storm. He has 13 BAFTA nominations in total, and also received a 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 Golden Globe nominations for:

Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama

Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical

  • Tom Jones (he received two nominations, winning for "Most Promising Newcomer". See below.)
  • Scrooge, WINNER. His portrayal of both the old miser and the young Ebenezer Scrooge earned him "The Best Motion Picture Actor in a Musical/Comedy" for 1971.

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television

  • The Gathering Storm, WINNER.

Most Promising Newcomer - Male.

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 "Joe Egg", in 1968. For the London stage, he won two Olivier Awards, both for Best Actor, for A Flea in Her Ear and Orphans.

Other awards include: a Golden Laurel for his work on Scrooge 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 1984 Berlin International Film Festival.

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

Filmography

Year Film Role Notes
1960 The Entertainer Mick Rice
1960 Saturday Night and Sunday Morning Arthur Seaton BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer
National Board of Review Award for Best Actor
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
1963 Tom Jones Tom Jones Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Volpi Cup
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1964 Night Must Fall Danny
1967 Two for the Road Mark Wallace
1968 Charlie Bubbles Charlie Bubbles Also director
1970 Scrooge Ebenezer Scrooge Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1971 Gumshoe Eddie Ginley Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
1974 Murder on the Orient Express Hercule Poirot Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
1975 The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother Man In Opera Audience Uncredited Cameo
1977 The Duellists Fouche
1981 Looker Dr. Larry Roberts
Wolfen Dewey Wilson Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Actor
Loophole Daniels
1982 Annie Daddy Warbucks
Shoot the Moon George Dunlap Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
1983 The Dresser Sir Silver Bear for Best Actor
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
1984 Under the Volcano Geoffrey Firmin Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
1987 Orphans Harold
1990 The Image Jason Cromwell Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor - Mini-series/Film
The Green Man Maurice Allington Nominated — British Academy Television Award for Best Actor
Miller's Crossing Leo O'Bannon
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 Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor
A Man of No Importance Alfred Byrne
1997 Washington Square Dr. Austin Sloper
1999 Breakfast of Champions Kilgore Trout
2000 Erin Brockovich Ed Masry Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
London Film Critics' Circle Award for British Supporting Actor of the Year
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated — Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Chlotrudis Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Nominated — Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
Traffic White House Chief of Staff Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2002 The Gathering Storm Winston Churchill British Academy Television Award for Best Actor
Broadcasting Press Guild Award for Best Actor
Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor - Mini-series/Film
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
2003 Big Fish older Edward Bloom Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Actor
2004 Ocean's Twelve Gaspar LeMarque (uncredited)
2005 Tim Burton's Corpse Bride Finis Everglot (voice)
2006 A Good Year Uncle Henry Skinner
2007 Amazing Grace John Newton
The Bourne Ultimatum Dr. Albert Hirsch
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead Charles Hanson Gotham Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Nominated — London Film Critics' Circle Award for British Supporting Actor of the Year

References

  1. ^ "Albert Finney Biography". filmreference. 2008. http://www.filmreference.com/film/2/Albert-Finney.html. Retrieved 2009-01-22.  
  2. ^ Quentin Falk (1993). Albert Finney in Character: A Biography. Robson Books. ISBN 0-860-51823-X.  
  3. ^ Revealed: secret list of 300 who scorned honours, Sunday Times

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Albert Finney (born 9 May 1936) is a British actor and director.

Sourced

  • It seems to me a long way to go just to sit in a non-drinking, non-smoking environment on the offchance your name is called. ... It's as if you are entered into a race you don't particularly want to run in. All the hoops you have to jump through on these occasions: it's not my favourite occupation. Walking around in the spotlight having to be me is not something I'm particularly comfortable with or desire. I'd sooner pretend to be someone else.
    • On attending the Academy Awards ceremony, quoted in The Times (24 March 2001)
  • There’s a time when a man needs to fight, and a time when he needs to accept that his destiny is lost, that the ship has sailed, and that only a fool would continue. The truth is, I’ve always been a fool.
    • Lines spoken as "Ed Bloom" in Big Fish
  • I don't think that we necessarily lie. I mean, we make our living by pretending that we're someone else. I don't tell tall tales. I always tell the truth.
    • Reply when asked if he thought he was a lot like the character he plays in Big Fish in Interview with Paul Fischer (2 December 2003)
  • It's true that old actors don't die, their parts get smaller. You�re less likely to get the part, many parts, if you're playing people your age as opposed to people who are younger. There are fewer parts around.
    • Interview with Paul Fischer (2 December 2003)
  • My dad was great. He was very droll, very dry. The first time that he came to London when I was in the theatre and my name was in lights for the very first time and we had the same name, and he passed the theatre with me on the way, he was going to see a matinee and me, and my mother and he passed the theatre, and I said, 'Look,' and he looked up at my name in lights, and stood there for five minutes, and I'm going, 'I want to have lunch and get back for the matinee,' and I'm with my mother, and he still stood there and so, I went back to get him and he just said, 'I never thought that I'd see my name in lights.'
    • Interview with Paul Fischer (2 December 2003)
  • Unlike writers or painters, we don't sit down in front of a blank canvas and say, 'How do I start? Where do I start?' We're given the springboard of the text, a plane ticket, told to report to Alabama, and there's a group of people all ready to make a film and it's a marvelous life.
    • Interview with Paul Fischer (2 December 2003)

Attributed

  • To be a character who feels a deep emotion, one must go into the memory's vault and mix in a sad memory from one's own life.

External links

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