Actor Albert Finney dies at 82 after short illness

Albert Finney has died at the age of 82 with his wife and son at his side.

The veteran actor, best known for roles in Tom Jones, Erin Brockovich and Annie, had been in London’s Royal Marsden Hospital for the past month.

He died from a chest infection on Thursday afternoon with his wife Pene Delmage and son Simon at his bedside.

A statement from his family said: “Albert Finney, aged 82, passed away peacefully after a short illness with those closest to him by his side.

Albert Finney death
Finney with John Hurt in 1999 (Michael Stephens/PA)

“The family request privacy at this sad time.”

It is understood his funeral will be held at a later stage and will be private.

The five-time Oscar nominee, who was born in Salford in 1936, started his career in the theatre and made his movie debut with a small part in The Entertainer in 1960.

Director Tony Richardson then offered Finney the lead in kitchen-sink drama Saturday Night And Sunday Morning, and period romp Tom Jones in 1963, which landed him his first Oscar nomination and made him a major star.

Albert Finney death
Albert Finney, left, with co-star Shirley Anne Field and author Alan Sillitoe at a party for Saturday Night And Sunday Morning (PA)

Along with Tom Courtenay, he was part of the wave of working class actors who revolutionised British film and television at that time.

Finney went on to play the title role in Scrooge and Hercule Poirot in Murder On The Orient Express, which garnered his second nomination, as well as Daddy Warbucks in Annie.

He earned consecutive nods in 1984 and 1985 for The Dresser and Under The Volcano, and his fifth came in 2001 for his role as lawyer Ed Masry in Erin Brockovich, in which he starred opposite Julia Roberts.

Albert Finney death
Albert Finney as Sir Winston Churchill in The Gathering Storm (BBC)

He played Winston Churchill in the TV movie The Gathering Storm in 2002 and more recently starred in the James Bond film Skyfall and the Bourne films.

He received the Bafta Fellowship, the British Academy’s highest honour, in 2001 but reportedly turned down a knighthood.

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