From ‘Tom Jones’ to ‘Skyfall’: star Albert Finney dies at 82
LONDON (AP) — Albert Finney, one of the most respected and versatile actors of his generation and the star of films as diverse as “Tom Jones” and “Skyfall,” has died. He was 82.
From his early days as a strikingly handsome and magnetic screen presence to his closing acts as a brilliant character actor, Finney was a British treasure known for charismatic work on both stage and screen.
Finney’s family said Friday that he “passed away peacefully after a short illness with those closest to him by his side.” He died Thursday from a chest infection at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, a cancer treatment center.
Finney burst to international fame in 1963 in the title role of “Tom Jones,” playing a lusty, humorous rogue who captivated audience with his charming, devil-may-care antics.
He excelled in many other roles, including “Saturday Night and Sunday Morning”, a 1960 drama that was part of the “angry young man” film trend.
Finney was a rare star who managed to avoid the Hollywood limelight despite more than five decades of worldwide fame. He was known for skipping awards ceremonies, even when he was nominated for an Oscar.
“Tom Jones” gained him the first of five Oscar nominations. Other nominations followed for “Murder on the Orient Express,” ‘’The Dresser,” ‘’Under the Volcano” and “Erin Brockovich.” Each time he fell short.
In later years he brought authority to bid-budget and high-grossing action movies, including the James Bond thriller “Skyfall” and two of the Bourne films. He also won hearts as Daddy Warbucks in “Annie.”
He played an array of roles, including Winston Churchill, Pope John Paul II, a southern American lawyer, and an Irish gangster. There was no “Albert Finney”-type character that he returned to again and again.
In one of his final roles, as the gruff Scotsman, Kincade, in “Skyfall,” he shared significant screen time with Daniel Craig as Bond and Judi Dench as M, turning the film’s final scenes into a master class of character acting.