Not-knowing young tricks may know Albert Finney from the Bourne movies or Skyfall, and us 80s kids know him as Daddy Warbucks in the Annie movie, but he is a legendary British thespian whose career goes back decades upon decades, including 1963’s Tom Jones (not a biopic about renowned panty creamer Tom Jones) where he served some young hot Woody Harrelson sexiness. Albert Finney was nominated for an Oscar five times, but never won. Well, now he’s in heaven, winning all the Oscars (if he even cares about that shit, which I’m sure he doesn’t), because he has died at the age of 82.
Albert Finney’s publicist said in a statement that he died yesterday of a chest infection at the Royal Marsden hospital. He was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2011. His wife Pene and son Simon were with him when he went off to the great beyond.
Albert Finney is a true THESPIAN!!!, having graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Like most serious thespians, his acting career started off in the theater before getting into movies with 1960’s The Entertainer and Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. Then he got the role that made him a STAH in 1963’s Tom Jones, which got him his first Oscar nomination. He was offered the title role in Lawrence of Arabia, but turned it down, because he was not about to sign a multi-movie deal with its producer.
In the 70s, he starred as Scrooge in Scrooge and Hercule Poirot in Murder on the Orient Express (which got him his second Oscar nom). Albert Finney didn’t like to be tied down (see: the reason why he turned down Lawrence of Arabia), so he refused to play Poirot in more movies. Instead he did The Dresser (which got him his third Oscar nom), Under the Volcano (which got him his fourth Oscar nom), and Annie, which should’ve gotten him an Oscar win, but those dumb tricks didn’t even nominate him for that.
From the 80s until 2012, he was also in Orphans, Miller’s Crossing, Breakfast of Champions, Erin Brockovich (and he got his final Oscar nom for that), Traffic, Big Fish, and Corpse Bride.
One thing I learned while reading about his life is that he became a master at turning shit down. He also turned down the offer of knighthood in 2000 because he thought it was a tradition that perpetuated “snobbery.” So add that little fact to the list of Things From Albert Finney That Make Me Swoon, along with that golden wave of locks he worked in Tom Jones.
Rest in peace, Albert Finney.
Pic: United Artists