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Frank Finlay (1926 - 2016)

Ronald Grant Archive / Mary Evans / Everett Collection

Frank Finlay (1926 - 2016)

Veteran British character actor Frank Finlay died Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, of heart failure after a short illness, the BBC and Los Angeles Times report. He was 89. According to his website, which first announced his death, Finlay died at his home in Weybridge, Surrey, a county in southeast England.
 
Born Aug. 6, 1926, in Farmouth, Lancashire, Finlay at first seemed destined for a life in the family business, training as a butcher like his father. However, Finlay’s interests soon shifted to theater. He received a scholarship to London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and worked his way up until he became a fixture in London's West End theater scene. Noted for his work with Laurence Olivier during the latter's directorship of the famed National Theater, Finlay earned an Oscar nomination for the film adaption of his role in the 1965 National Theater stage production of "Othello." In 1973, Finlay cemented his reputation in the “Three Musketeers," starring with Oliver Reed, Raquel Welch, Richard Chamberlain and Michael York. The film was nominated for a Golden Globe and launched two sequels.


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Finlay earned particular acclaim in several challenging television literary adaptations, with leading roles in 1971’s BBC series “Casanova” and 1976’s controversial “Bouquet of Barbed Wire.” He earned BAFTA awards for his roles in 1973’s “The Adventures of Don Quixote” and “Candide.” 
 
According to the Los Angeles Times, Finlay was married to Doreen Shepherd for 50 years until her death in 2005. The couple had three children.

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