April 22, 2021

British actor Albert Finney dies

British actor Albert Finney dies

The British actor Albert Finney, candidate for several Oscar awards from the Hollywood Academy, died at age 82 after a short illness, his family reported today.

Finney was famous in films like "Beyond the worldly noise", "Erin Brockovich" and "Two on the road", among many others, as well as in the James Bond film "Skyfall".

The British actor entered in 1955 in the Birmingham Reportory Company. Three years later, directed by Charles Laughton, he performed in the London West End in the play The Party. He then joined the cast of the Royal Shakespeare Company, with which he represented works such as Macbeth, Othello, King Lear or Julius Caesar.

After a small role in The Animator, the beginning of his collaboration with Tony Richardson, on Saturday night, Sunday morning achieved a great opportunity. His Arthur Seaton, rebellious and impulsive, turned him into the words of critics like Juan Tejero into the "hero of the working class," into the masculine and rugged male prototype whose features softened relatively with his blue eyes. Along with Tom Courtenay, Alan Bates and David Hemmings became in this way one of the visible heads of the Free Cinema, one of the actors willing to shake the institutions together with their female counterparts, including Vanessa Redgrave.

The following year David Lean hired him for Lawrence of Arabia. But his alcoholism as well as his bad relationship with the actor caused his dismissal for the benefit of Peter O'Toole, another interpreter who accused his same illness.

The incident did not happen of slight setback in its ascent: Tony Richardson remembered of him for Tom Jones, in which Finney interpreted the insolent, carefree, womaniego, rogue protagonist. His performance was rewarded with the Volpi Cup for best actor at the Venice International Film Festival, the Golden Globe for Best Newcomer, a BAFTA Award and the first of his five Oscar nominations.

After tasting the honeys of success, Finney began to express in his cinematographic and theatrical interventions a certain joy of living. Without going any further his next work was the comedy Mucho Noise and few nuts, directed by Franco Zeffirelli, with music by Nino Rota and co-starring Lynn Redgrave, Maggie Smith, Derek Jacobi and Robert Stephens.

Twelve months later, Stanley Donen recruited him for the dramatic comedy Two on the Road, in which a marriage in separation (Mark and Joanna Wallace) recalls his travels, his good times in a hotel where they ate in his room because they had no money to pay for lunch, their adulterous adventures, the thousands of times Mark lost his passport and Joanna found him instantly. His co-star was Audrey Hepburn.

In 1967 he directed his only film as a filmmaker, Charlie Bubbles, co-starring Billie Whitelaw and Liza Minnelli, and financed by his own production company: Memorial Enterprise.

In 1970 he married the actress Anouk Aimée. That year he executed his last notable cinematographic work in half a decade: the miser of Many Thanks, Mr. Scrooge, adaptation of Charles Dickens' Christmas Tale, which earned him his second Golden Globe.

From then on he focused his activity on the theater until in 1974 Sidney Lumet chose him to star in Murder on the Orient Express. His work of a Monsieur Poirot guilty of concealment of justice overflowed in words of criticism of irony and energy. His composition, inspired by the histrionic interpretations of Charles Laughton, earned him nominations for the Oscars and the BAFTA.

He then returned to the stage with a version of Hamlet for the National Theater in 1976. In film he made a couple of appearances in the films Sherlock Holmes' The Smartest Brother and The Duelists, whose premiere coincided with his divorce with Anouk Aimée. Now he refused to repeat the role of Poirot in Death on the Nile, horrified at the thought of suffering the effects of makeup in a country as hot as Egypt. Peter Ustinov finally replaced him.

In the eighties, however, he preferred to live basically from the cinema. In Annie she played a millionaire who adopted an orphan who sang along with President Franklin Roosevelt (Edward Herrmann) the song Tomorrow, tomorrow. After this food work he won two consecutive Oscar nominations with La sombra de un actor and Bajo el volcán, where he coincided for the third time with Jacqueline Bisset. He also shared the spotlight in Shoot the Moon with Diane Keaton.

It ended the decade with A Fallen Angel and Miller's Crossing, in which Leo played a man whose wife (Verna: Marcia Gay Harden) betrayed him with his friend Tom (Gabriel Byrne), reacting with an exceptional tolerance.

During the nineties Finney accepted roles in low-budget films like Playboy, in which he put himself in the shoes of a mature rapist who embittered Robin Wright Penn and Aidan Quinn's life or The Browning version, in which he played a teacher whose Woman (Greta Scachi) maintains an adventure with a younger teacher (Matthew Modine), in turn more popular among students.

After serving as a high school secondary in Washington Square – along with Maggie Smith – and Breakfast with champions, began his association with Steven Soderbegh in Erin Brockovich, in which he played Ed Marsy, a lawyer around everything, a survivor of a cancer and a divorce, which renews his illusion to meet a woman who deeply irritates him who challenges his convictions. The Syndicate of Actors recognized him as the best supporting actor: the Oscar was again escaped, but almost …

In 2003 Tim Burton gave him a chocolate paper in Big Fish: his Ed Bloom is a fantasy being who knows how to talk about reality through fabulation and imagination to cope with an existence not entirely satisfactory due to the continuous disapproval of his son. Satisfied with the deal with the director, he agreed to give voice to one of the characters in the animated film Corpse Bride.

Despite his successes on the big screen, Finney has never abandoned his theatrical career. He continued to collaborate with the National Theater Company in Old Vic (London), with which he played, in the mid-60s, Much Ado About Nothing, by William Shakespeare and The Garden of Cherry Trees, by Anton Chekhov. He has received nominations for the Tony Award for his performances in Luther (1964) and A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (1968), and has also starred on the boards Love for Love, Miss Julie, Black Comedy, The Country Wife, Alpha Beta, Krapp's Last Tape, Tamburlaine the Great, Another Time and its latest appearance, Art, by Yasmina Reza.

Among his most recent works are the masterly thriller of Sidney Lumet Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (Before the Devil Knows You're Dead), with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Marisa Tomei, a delivery of the James Bond saga (Skyfall ) and two installments of the saga on Jason Bourne (The Bourne Ultimatum and The Bourne Legacy).


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