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Frank Finlay

Frank Finlay received Academy Award, Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominations for his performance as William Shakespeare's Iago in Stuart Burge's 1965 film of Laurence Olivier's staging of Othello. He also won the Best Actor Award at the San Sebastian International Film Festival.

He later essayed the definitive screen portrayal of Alexandre Dumas' musketeer Porthos in three movies for director Richard Lester: The Three Musketeers (1974), The Four Musketeers (1975), and The Return of the Musketeers (1989).

Finlay's many other films include The Longest Day; Tony Richardson's The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner; Martin Ritt's The Molly Maguires; Bob Clark's Murder by Decree; Alan Bridges' The Return of the Soldier (for which he received a BAFTA Award nomination); Franco Zeffirelli's Sparrow; and Eric Styles' Dreaming of Joseph Lees.

His similarly extensive television projects have earned him two BAFTA Awards, for his performances in The Death of Adolf Hitler (starring as Hitler, with Rex Firkin directing); and The Adventures of Don Quixote (as Sancho Panza, opposite Rex Harrison, for director Alvin Rakoff). Among his many other starring roles have been the original teleplay adaptation of 84 Charing Cross Road (directed by Mark Cullingham); the critically acclaimed mini-series The Sins;

and the lead role of Peter Manson in the groundbreaking mini-series Bouquet of Barbed Wire and Another Bouquet. A quarter-century later, his portrayal of the latter character was among those singled out by the British public as one of The 100 Greatest TV Characters of All Time for a Channel 4 special.

Born in Farnworth, Lancashire, he had already begun performing onstage when he earned the Sir James Knott Scholarship at London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). Since then, he has led theatre companies in London and on Broadway.

Finlay was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1984 New Year's Honours List, and was presented with his CBE by the Queen in February 1984.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2003.

Frank Finlay Facts

BirthdayAugust 6, 1926 (96)
BirthplaceFarnworth, England, United Kingdom

Selected Filmography

The Pianist
Prime Suspect Complete Collection
The Shoes of the Fisherman
A Christmas Carol
The Three Musketeers / The Four Musketeers
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