Albert Finney, renowned British actor and Oscar-nominated star of films like Tom Jones, Under the Volcano and Erin Brockovich, has died at the age of 82.
“Albert Finney, aged 82, passed away peacefully after a short illness with those closest to him by his side. The family request privacy at this sad time,” a family spokesperson said in a statement to the BBC.
One of Britain’s most revered stage and screen actors, Finney earned four Best Actor Academy Awards nominations and one nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Finney received both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in the 2002 HBO film The Gathering Storm.
After establishing himself as one of Britain’s most celebrated stage actors as a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company in the late Fifties, Finney transitioned to the big screen in a pair of 1960 films, Tony Richardson’s The Entertainer and Saturday Night and Sunday Morning.
We are very sad to hear of the loss of Albert Finney.
His performances in plays by Shakespeare, Chekhov and other iconic playwrights throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s stand apart as some of the greatest in our 200 year history. pic.twitter.com/6UmFOjLjx1
— The Old Vic (@oldvictheatre) February 8, 2019
In 1963, Finney reunited with Richardson to play the title role in the director’s Tom Jones; the film went on to win Best Picture at both the Academy Awards and the BAFTAs, and earned Finney his first Best Actor nomination at the prestigious award shows.
“We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Albert Finney,” the BAFTAs tweeted Friday. “The recipient of the BAFTA Fellowship in 2001, Finney will be warmly remembered for his powerful performances in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, Tom Jones, Big Fish and many more.”
“I also think I’m good as an actor,” Finney told Rolling Stone in 1982. “I’m not saying I can act terrific or great, but I can act good. And what I’ve always believed is that I’ll get a job.”
Over a career that spanned six decades, Finney appeared in memorable roles like Hercule Poriot in Murder on the Orient Express, the tortured protagonist in John Huston’s Under the Volcano, mob boss Leo in the Coen Brothers’ Miller’s Crossing, Daddy Warbucks in 1982’s Annie, the weaver of tall tales in Tim Burton’s Big Fish, a New York detective in Wolfen and, in another Oscar-nominated role, lawyer Ed Masry in Erin Brockovich.
In 2011, Finney revealed that he had battled kidney cancer, and while he reportedly defeated the disease, he scaled back his acting roles: His last credits include 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum and, his last big-screen appearance, the caretaker to the James Bond estate in 2012’s Skyfall.