The name might not ring any bells, but you’ve probably seen the face of actor Albert Finney before. After all, he bounced between stage productions, TV shows, and big-budget movies for more than six decades. Finney died on February 8, 2019, at 82 years old and he leaves behind a stellar acting career, a surprising net worth, and some one-of-a-kind stories (like when he went sailing for a year right after his breakout role).
You might know some of his most famous roles
Finney performed in dozens of live theater productions starting in 1956, and he continued working on stages until 1996. However, his movie roles brought his talents to a wider audience, and you probably know some of them.
His first big-screen production was 1960’s The Entertainer, but playing the titular role in 1963’s Tom Jones was his breakout role.
Finney redefined the Ebenezer Scrooge character in 1970’s Scrooge. He played Daddy Warbucks in 1982’s Annie, which remains one of the best Broadway plays to hit the big screen.
He starred in Murder on the Orient Express in 1974, and he turned out acclaimed into his 60s and 70s. You might have seen him in Miller’s Crossing, one of the Coen Brothers’ best films, or Big Fish, which is one of Tim Burton’s top movies.
Finney’s final movie role was playing Kincade in the 2012 James Bond movie Skyfall.
Finney’s net worth when he died is surprising
As we mentioned, Albert Finney was a standout actor on stage and screen for the better part of six decades. He also produced several projects (albeit uncredited), and he directed two movies, but his net worth is surprisingly low for someone with such a long and successful career.
Finney had a $10 million fortune when he died, according to Celebrity Net Worth. It’s nothing to shake a stick at, but to put it in perspective, that’s roughly half of what NCIS star Mark Harmon makes in a year.
He was shut out at the Academy Awards
Finney scored five Academy Award nominations, but he never got his hands on an Oscar statue. He scored best actor nods for Tom Jones (1963), Murder on the Orient Express (1974), The Dresser (1983), and Under the Volcano (1984). The Academy nominated him for best supporting actor for Erin Brockovich (2000). However, he won some notable industry awards over the years.
- Golden Globes: Best newcomer for Tom Jones; best actor for Scrooge; and best performance in a miniseries or TV movie for 2002’s The Gathering Storm.
- Emmys: Outstanding lead actor for The Gathering Storm.
- Screen Actors Guild: Finney was a double winner at the 2001 SAG Awards. He won for outstanding supporting actor for Erin Brockovich, and he joined his Traffic co-stars in winning for outstanding performance by a cast.
He did his version of backpacking Europe after his breakthrough movie role
In addition to the memorable movie roles and many awards, the thing that defined Albert Finney’s acting career was he did it on his terms.
After earning critical raves for starring in Tom Jones, Finney turned his back on acting for his version of backpacking through Europe. He sailed the Pacific, visited the West Indies, and saw Italy and Greece — and he never thought about cutting his travels short so he could get back to work.
“When I took the year off after Tom Jones, I don’t know why. I suppose I wanted to travel a bit,” he told Rolling Stone in 1982. “It may have been that I didn’t know what I wanted; I was afraid of what I wanted to do next, ’cause I was hot. Jesus, it suddenly seemed important what I did next, so I said to hell with it. So I didn’t do sh*t. I didn’t have to do anything next.”
Finney also ditched the 1964 Academy Awards (when he was nominated for Tom Jones) for a private boat party with his girlfriend. A reporter tracked him down and told him he didn’t win, but he couldn’t care less.
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!