Albert Finney, the Oscar-nominated English actor whose work spanned seven different decades, has passed away at the age of 82, the Guardian reported.
Finney appeared in more than 40 movies between 1960 and 2012 and was nominated for Academy Awards five times, although he never won. He’s probably best known to modern audiences as Julia Roberts’ boss in Steven Soderbergh’s Erin Brockovich, and as Billy Crudup’s dying father in Tim Burton’s Big Fish, as well as small parts in Jason Bourne and James Bond movies.
Finney, born in England in 1936, got his start as a Shakespearean actor, graduating from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and later joining the Royal Shakespeare Company. Finney was mostly a stage actor throughout the 1950s until he got his first film role in the 1960 drama The Entertainer. That same year, Finney would star in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, directed by Karel Reisz.
The actor’s first Academy Award nomination came for 1963’s Tom Jones, and Finney spent most of the 1960s alternating between the screen and stage, though for his film work, the Guardian described Finney during this period as “the face of British cinema’s international explosion.” He went on to star in Sidney Lumet’s 1974 version of Murder On The Orient Express, which earned him his second Oscar nomination. He played Daddy Warbucks in the 1982 film version of Annie before getting his third Best Actor Academy Award nod for 1984’s The Dresser, and his fourth for the following year’s Under the Volcano.
In 1990 came one of Finney’s most memorable roles in which he portrayed gangster boss Leo O’Bannon in Joel and Ethan Coen’s Miller’s Crossing. A decade later, Finney earned his fifth and final Oscar nomination, for Best Supporting Actor, for his part as Ed Masry, Julia Roberts’ condescending boss, in 2000’s Erin Brockovich. In 2003, Finney played Edward Bloom, the dying father and purveyor of tall tales, in Tim Burton’s Big Fish. In 2002, he played Winston Churchill in the HBO movie The Gathering Storm.
In his later years, Finney played a part in two of the Jason Bourne movies, The Bourne Ultimatum and The Bourne Legacy. His final film was the 2012 James Bond movie Skyfall.
Finney’s family, per the Guardian, said he had died of “a short illness.” The actor had been diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2011.
Albert Finney was married three times and had one son from his first marriage. He also turned down both a CBE and knighthood, stating that he wanted no part of an honor that “perpetuates snobbery.”