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Albert Finney: 5 Things To Know About ‘Erin Brockovich’ Actor Dead At 82

Hollywood has lost another one of its stars, as five-time Oscar-nominated actor Albert Finney has died. As the world mourns the loss of this British thespian, get to know more about the ‘Skyfall’ actor.

Albert Finney passed away “peacefully after a short illness with those closest to him by his side,” his family told the Associated Press on Feb. 8. This closed the book on a career that spanned more than five decades, one that saw him portray Scotsman Kincade in Skyfall, Ed Masry in Erin Brockovich and the role of Hercule Poirot in the 1974 adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express. Since bursting on the scene in 1963, he earned five Academy Award nominations, nine Golden Globe nominations, and 13 BAFTA nominations. As Hollywood bid one final farewell to Albert, get to know about him.

1. He was an award-winning actor. Albert was born in Pendleton, Salford, Lancashire on May 9, 1936. A graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Albert’s career began on the stage (he replaced an ill Laurence Olivier in the title role of Coriolanus in 1953.) His first film role was in The Entertainer in 1960. His breakout came in 1963, with Tom Jones. His final film role was in 2012’s Skyfall. He worked with director Steven Soderbergh on Erin Brockovich, Traffic, and an uncredited role in Ocean’s Twelve. He also teamed up with Tim Burton for a pair of films – Corpse Bride and Big Fish

He won a BAFTA for Most Promising Newcomer, for Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, as well as a BAFTA TV Award for The Gathering Storm. He also won a Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer in 1963 (for Tom Jones) and for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, for his part in 1970’s Scrooge.

2. He was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2011. “Yes, Mr. Finney was treated for cancer,” confirms Nigel Bennett, his agent and lawyer told The Telegraph. “He is better now and is considering several new projects. … Mr. Finney is at the time of life when he can be extra choosy about the roles that he accepts. These are difficult times for film producers and he won’t even read a script unless the film is fully financed.”

3. He turned down a knighthood. “Maybe people in America think being a ‘Sir’ is a big deal,” he said, regarding his decision to decline a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of British Empire in 190 and a knighthood in 2000. “But I think we should all be misters together. I think the ‘Sir’ thing slightly perpetuates one of our diseases in England, which is snobbery. And it also helps keep us ‘quaint,’ which I’m not a great fan of.”

4. He wouldn’t have been an actor if it weren’t for a schoolteacher. “I was in the top grade when I went to the grammar school but that didn’t last because I wouldn’t work. I hated homework. I thought it was an imposition on my childhood,” he said to the Manchester Evening News. After failing almost all of his O-level exams, headteacher Eric Simms recommended Albert pursue RADA after recognizing Finney’s growing acting talent. ““He’s the reason I am an actor,” Albert said, and since set up a trust which instituted an award for other aspiring performers in Eric Simm’s name.

5. He kept under the radar for most of his life. Though he was a pillar of British theatre and a highly lauded actor, he managed to avoid the notorious British tabloids for most of his life, though the press was fascinated with his marriage with “the sultry French film star Anouk Aimee,” per AP. Prior to his marriage to Anouk, he was married to the late Jane Wenham. They had a son, Simon, who works as a cameraman. He is also survived by his third wife, Pene, and two grandchildren.

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