Frank Finlay

Frank Finlay

Infobox actor

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birthname = Francis Finlay
birthdate = Birth date and age|1926|8|6|df=y
birthplace = Farnworth, Greater Manchester, England
deathdate =
deathplace =
occupation = actor
website =
academyawards =
spouse = Doreen Shepherd (deceased)

Francis "Frank" Finlay, CBE (born 6 August 1926) is a British stage, film and television actor.


Personal life

Finlay was born in Farnworth, England, the son of Margaret and Josiah Finlay [ [ Frank Finlay Biography (1926-) ] ] , a butcher. A devout Catholic,Fact|date=December 2007 he belongs to the British Catholic Stage Guild. He was educated at St. Gregory the Great School and then trained as a butcher himself, gaining a City and Guilds Diploma in the trade. He met his future wife, Doreen Shepherd, when they were both members of the Farnworth Little Theatre. They lived in Weybridge, Surrey and were married until her death in 2005. [Bolton Evening News, 2nd Jun 2005]

tage career

Finlay began his stage career in rep before graduating from RADA. There followed several appearances at the Royal Court Theatre, notably in the Arnold Wesker trilogy. He is particularly associated with the National Theatre, especially during the Olivier years and its predecessor, the Chichester Festival Theatre, where he played a wide variety of roles ranging from the First Gravedigger in "Hamlet" to "Saint Joan","Hobson's Choice", "Much Ado About Nothing","The Dutch Courtesan", "The Crucible", "Mother Courage", "Juno and the Paycock" and culminating in his controversial Iago to Laurence Olivier's title character in the 1965 film adaptation of "Othello".

Finlay's original stage performance of Iago as an NCO left critics unmoved, but later received high praise when the play was filmed and earned him an Academy Award nomination. He was also seen on Broadway in "Epitaph for George Dillon" (1958-59), and, also, in the National Theatre and Broadway productions of "Filumena" (opposite Olivier's wife, Joan Plowright) in 1980.

Television and film

His first major success on television was in the title role of "Casanova" in Dennis Potter's BBC2 series of the same name. Following which in 1972, he won perhaps the greatest praise of his career for his portrayal of Adolf Hitler in "The Death Of Adolf Hitler".

He portrayed Richard Roundtree's nemesis Amafi in the third Shaft film "Shaft in Africa" (1973) before playing Porthos for director Richard Lester in "The Three Musketeers" (1973), "The Four Musketeers" (1975) and "The Return of the Musketeers" (1989). He has also appeared several other films, including "The Wild Geese" (1978).

He went on to star as the father in the controversial "Bouquet of Barbed Wire" and he was reunited with his "Bouquet of Barbed Wire" co-star, Susan Penhaligon, when he played Van Helsing in the BBC "Count Dracula" with Louis Jourdan (1977).

He appeared in two Sherlock Holmes films as Inspector Lestrade, solving the Jack the Ripper murders ("A Study in Terror" and "Murder by Decree"). In 1984, Finlay appeared on American television in "A Christmas Carol". He played Marley's Ghost opposite George C. Scott's Ebenezer Scrooge.

Finlay also played a rather slim Sancho Panza, opposite Rex Harrison's Don Quixote, in the 1973 British made-for-television film "The Adventures of Don Quixote", for which he won a BAFTA award. He won another BAFTA award that year for his performance as Voltaire in a non-musical BBC TV production of "Candide".

He also guest-starred as "The Witchsmeller Pursuivant" in an episode of the popular 1983 British sitcom "The Black Adder".

In 1988 Finlay played the role of Justice Peter Mahon in the award-winning New Zealand television miniseries "".

In 2002 Finlay portrayed Adrien Brody's character's father in the Roman Polanski film "The Pianist" (2002). His most recent appearances have been in the TV series "Life Begins" and as Jane Tennison's father in the last two stories of "Prime Suspect" (2006 and 2007). In 2007 he guest-starred in the "Doctor Who" audio adventure "100".



External links

*imdb name | id=0277975 | name=Frank Finlay
* [ Official website]

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