May 9, 1936
Salford, Manchester, England
Though most widely known for his inspired performances in such films as Night Must Fall, Two for the Road, and Murder on the Orient Express, Albert Finney first achieved acclaim for his work in Shakespearean theatre.
As a young man, Finney earned a scholarship to the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic
Arts, and thereafter made his professional stage debut in 1956 as Decius Brutus in Julius
Caesar. He accompanied Charles Laughton to Stratford-upon-Avon and impressed in a number of
staple Shakespeare roles. Finney made a considerable splash when he went on for Laurence
Olivier in Coriolanus, and he was subsequently chosen by producer Tony Richardson to play Olivier's son in The Entertainer. Richardson gave him a follow-up starring role in
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, in which his memorable performance as a hostile young
factory worker provided the definitive portrait of a British working-class hero to a generation
of Brits seething with rage about the broken promises of the prewar years. In the title role of
Tom Jones, Finney found another wildly popular character, and the film made him a millionaire and an international star.
He continued to surprise and charm throughout the 1980s, notably in Shoot the Moon in 1982, and The Dresser in 1984, both Oscar-nominated performances.
He has a son, Simon, from his first marriage to actress Jane Wenham.
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