Albert Finney (9 May 1936 – 7 February 2019) was an English actor who played Annie's adopted dad Oliver Warbucks in the 1982 film.


Albert Finney came from the theatre, where he was especially successful in plays of William Shakespeare, to the movies. There he became a leading figure of the young Free Cinema. His debut in cinema was in 1960 with The Entertainer (1960) of Tony Richardson who had directed him also in theatre plays various times before. His typical roles when he was young were projects like Arthur Seaton in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960).


  • Became a father for the 1st time at age 22 when his now 1st ex-wife Jane Wenham gave birth to their son Simon Finney on September 16, 1958.
  • He was the only actor to call Audrey Hepburn a bitch on screen, which he did in Two for the Road (1967).
  • He allegedly declined a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 1980 and Knighthood in 2000 for his services to drama.
  • He was awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 1987 (1986 season) for Best Actor in a New Play for "Orphans".
  • He was awarded the 1986 London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actor for his performance in "Orphans".
  • Graduated from Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).
  • An Associate Member of Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).
  • A member of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England, where he performed for three seasons in the early 1980s. In the late 1950s, he appeared at the RSC's earlier incarnation, the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, where he was mentored by Charles Laughton.
  • He does not have an agent or a manager.
  • Felt the lead role in Tom Jones (1963) wasn't serious enough, and agreed to star only if he got a producing credit; he later traded the credit for profit participation. He later earned an Oscar nomination for this role.
  • As an aspiring actor in the mid-1950s, he made the rounds with Michael Polley, the father of Sarah Polley. Michael Polley says that Finney compared actors to bricklayers, in terms of craft.
  • Was the first choice of Laurence Olivier to take over his post as the head of Britain's National Theatre. Finney had played a season shortly after the National Theatre's inaugural season in 1963-1964. Finney declined the offer.
  • Was twice nominated for Broadway's Tony Award as Best Actor (Dramatic): in 1964 for playing the title character of Martin Luther in John Osborne's "Luther," and in 1968 for Peter Nichols' "A Day in the Death of Joe Egg."
  • Played Michael Medwin's uncle in Scrooge (1970) even though he is actually more than twelve years younger than him.
  • Originally chosen for the title role in Lawrence of Arabia (1962) after a screen test shot over four days at a cost of £100,000. He later baulked at the film's monumental shooting schedule, and did not want to commit to such a long term contract and opted to play the title role in Tom Jones (1963), which gave him his first Oscar nomination.
  • Was initially asked to reprise his role as Hercule Poirot in Death on the Nile (1978). However, he had found the make-up he had to wear for the first movie Murder on the Orient Express (1974) very uncomfortable in the hot interior of the train, and on realizing that he would have to undergo the same experience, this time in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit, he declined the role.
  • The third choice for Hercule Poirot in Murder on the Orient Express (1974). Before him were Alec Guinness and Paul Scofield. Ironically, Agatha Christie felt Finney's performance came closest to her idea of Poirot.
  • In 1965, he formed Memorial Films in association with Michael Medwin to produce theatrical features, which included Charlie Bubbles (1967), If.... (1968), Gumshoe (1971), Bleak Moments (1971), O Lucky Man! (1973) and Law and Disorder (1974).
  • Appears, uncredited, in drag as The Matron in the ladies' bathroom scene in Miller's Crossing (1990).
  • Although he was born working class (and indeed, along with Tom Courtenay, was one of the leading avatars of the wave of working class/provincial actors that revolutionized British theater and film in the 1950s and 1960s), his was a relatively privileged upbringing as his father was a successful bookie.
  • Rather than attend the Oscar ceremony in 1964, he went on vacation sailing in the South Seas. When informed that he had been beaten as Best Actor by Sidney Poitier, he offered Poitier his heartfelt congratulations. Though nominated another four times in the 1970s, 1980s and 21st Century, he has yet to appear in person at an Oscar ceremony.
  • Originated the lead roles in the plays "Billy Liar", "Luther" and "A Day in the Death of Joe Egg", all of which were played by other actors when transferred to film.
  • Father of the film technician Simon Finney.
  • He was awarded the 1991 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Principal Role in a Play for "Another Time" at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, Illinois.
  • In 1976, he was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor of the year in a Revival for "Hamlet" and "Tamburlaine the Great" at the National Theatre.
  • Was in the same class with Peter O'Toole at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).
  • As of 2014, has appeared in four films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: Tom Jones (1963), The Dresser (1983), Traffic (2000) and Erin Brockovich (2000). Of those, Tom Jones (1963) won in the category.
  • His relationship with Anouk Aimée ended when she fell in love with Ryan O'Neal.
  • Has had relationships with actresses Jean Marsh and Diana Quick.
  • He had been considered for many roles in the James Bond franchise before being cast in Skyfall (2012).
  • Although he played Roger Livesey's grandson in The Entertainer (1960), he was only 30 years his junior in real life.
  • Born on the same day as Glenda Jackson.
  • Supports Manchester United.

External Links

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.