It’s quite strange sitting here and writing about Albert Finney’s death because earlier this week I had dreamt he had died. Weird coincidence.
The English actor, who earned five Oscar nominations throughout his career, died at the age 82. [Associated Press]. His family’s statement read that he “passed away peacefully after a short illness with those closest to him by his side.” Finney was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2007.
He will be known, at least in my neck of the woods, as the the "king" of Britain’s "kitchen sink" movement, which was this series of British films about blue-collar characters in the 60s. Most notable would be the angry young man he played in Karel Reisz’s 1960 version of Alan Sillitoe’s novel “Saturday Night and Sunday Morning.” This was Finney’s best performance and it happened at the very start of his career. Finney’s hard-drinking, womanizing factory worker Arthur Seaton, whose famous line was “don’t let the bastards grind you down!” was an immensely imposing on-screen figure.
Finney was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor four times: “Tom Jones” (1963), “Murder on the Orient Express” (1974), “The Dresser” (1983), and “Under the Volcano” (1984). His fifth nomination was for Supporting Actor in Steven Soderbergh’s “Erin Brockovich.”
Obviously, to mainstream audiences he was also in “Big Fish,” “Miller’s Crossing,” Sidney Lumet’s “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead,” and the “Bourne” action franchise.
One of the most underrated actors that ever lived.