British actor Albert Finney, star of ‘Tom Jones,’ dies at 82

Lydia FlemingFeb 09, 2019

James Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson said they were "heartbroken" at the loss of the actor, whose final screen appearance came as gamekeeper Kincade in 2012's Skyfall.

"It was my terrific joy and privilege to work with Albert", Roberts tells PEOPLE exclusively.

The Saturday Night and Sunday Morning star refused a knighthood in 2000 as well as a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1980.

Born in Salford, England, in 1936, Finney went on to graduate from London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Albert Finney during "Erin Brockovich" Premiere at Mann Village Theatre in Westwood, California, United States.

Instead, he teamed up with Richardson again for the 1963 film version of Henry Fielding's classic comic novel Tom Jones. His Emmy was given for his performance as Winston Churchill in the BBC-HBO movie, The Gathering Storm (2002).

The statement went on to say Finney had been a "huge part of the National Theatre acting company from its early days in Chichester and performed many roles over the years, including Hamlet which opened the Lyttelton Theatre in 1976".

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Finney's family said Friday that he "passed away peacefully after a short illness with those closest to him by his side". After he switched to film he became a breakout performer, with films like The Entertainer, Scrooge, andTwo for the Road.

British actor Albert Finney puffs a big cigar as he sits in the back seat of a vintage cap on the set of "Annie" in NY.

The star was nominated five times for an Oscar - Best Actor for Tom Jones, Murder On The Orient Express, The Dresser and Under The Volcano, and Best Supporting Actor for his role in Erin Brockovich.

Christopher McQuarrie, director of the last two Mission: Impossible films, said Finney "was an artist with a Thompson" - a reference to his submachine gun prowess in Miller's Crossing.

He said of his death: "Very sad to hear about Albert Finney".

Despite this long list of accolades, Finney never attended the Oscars ceremony. He showed off his vocal chops in 1970's Scrooge and 1982's Annie, for which he shaved his head to play Daddy Warbucks.

Finney was married three times and had one child with his first wife, the actress Jane Wenham. Funeral arrangements weren't immediately known.

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