1. Beginning in the theatre, Finney was especially successful in plays by William Shakespeare before he switched to films.
2. He achieved prominence in films in the early 1960s, his debut being The Entertainer, directed by Tony Richardson, who had directed him in theatre plays various times before.
3. He became a leading Free Cinema figure, and has maintained a successful career in theatre, film and television.
4. He is known for his roles in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning .
5. A recipient of BAFTA, Golden Globe, Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Awards, Finney has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor four times, for Tom Jones .
6. Finney was born in the Charlestown area of Pendleton, Salford, Lancashire, England, the son of Alice and Albert Finney, Sr., a bookmaker.
7. Finney graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and became a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
8. Then in 1959 he appeared at Stratford in Coriolanus, replacing a sick Laurence Olivier .
9. This led to a series of “Angry Young Man” roles in kitchen sink dramas, before he starred in the Academy Award-winning 1963 film Tom Jones.
10. However, Finney baulked at signing a multi-year contract for Producer Sam Spiegel and chose not to accept the role.
11. After Charlie Bubbles , which he also directed, his film appearances became less frequent as he focused more on acting on stage.
12. Finney became so well known for the role that he complained that it typecast him for a number of years.
13. “People really do think I am 300 pounds with a French accent” he said.
14. While being known for his dramatic roles, Finney appeared and sang in two musical films: Scrooge and the Hollywood film version of Annie, which was directed by John Huston, who would direct him once again in Under The Volcano two years later.