Albert Finney, the British actor who starred in “Tom Jones,” “Erin Brockovich” and the “Bourne” movies, has died. He was 82.
The five-time Oscar nominee had been suffering from a short illness, according to BBC News on Friday.
A statement from a family spokesperson to the BBC said: “Albert Finney, aged 82, passed away peacefully after a short illness with those closest to him by his side. The family request privacy at this sad time.”
The Guardian reported that the veteran actor died of a chest infection at the Royal Marsden hospital near London, England, which specializes in cancer treatment.
His wife, Pene, and son, Simon, were by his side. He previously revealed in 2011 that he had been diagnosed with cancer but had overcome it with successful treatment.
He earned the first of five Oscar nominations for playing the playboy title character in 1963’s “Tom Jones.” He picked up additional nominations for his lead roles in 1974’s “Murder on the Orient Express,” 1983’s “The Dresser” and 1984’s “Under the Volcano.”
He then earned a supporting-actor nomination for 2000’s “Erin Brockovich” as the gruff lawyer boss of Julia Roberts’ title character.
His other film roles include “Saturday Night and Sunday Morning,” “Annie,” “Big Fish,” “Miller’s Crossing” and the James Bond movie “Skyfall.”
Born in Manchester, England, in 1936, Finney’s father was a bookmaker to a “lower middle class family.” It was Albert’s headmaster at Salford Grammar School who encouraged him to apply for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, where he was in the same class as Peter O’Toole and Alan Bates.
Following his graduation from RADA, Finney became of a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company — replacing Laurence Olivier in “Coriolanus” in 1959 — before turning to film.
Since his career boom in the early ’60s, Finney has played many famous real-life and fictional characters, including Hercule Poirot in “Murder on the Orient Express,” Winston Churchill in “The Gathering Storm” and Charles Dickens’ Scrooge in a musical of the same name.
Along with his Academy Award nominations, Finney was the recipient of BAFTA, Golden Globe, Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Awards, and received a British Academy Fellowship in 2001.
He also continued to work on the stage throughout his life and earned Tony nominations on Broadway for “Luther” and “A Day in the Death of Joe Egg.”
According to the Guardian, Finney was offered official honors and turned down a CBE in 1980, and a knighthood in 2000.
Finney was married three times, first to Jane Wenham and Anouk Aimeé, and finally to Pene Delmage in 2006. He is survived by Delmage and his son Simon, from his first marriage.
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