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James Finlayson

James Finlayson

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Also Known As: Jimmy Finlayson, Jimmy Finlayson, Jimmie Finlayson Died: October 9, 1953
Born: August 27, 1887 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: United Kingdom Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A prolific stage performer, Frank Finlay came to international prominence repeating his stage role as a particularly villainous Iago to Laurence Olivier's "Othello" in the 1965 film version, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. A character actor, Finlay generally played provincials or police inspectors and frequently appeared in period films. He began his stage career in 1951, working in repertory theater, before winning a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). He appeared with the Guilford Repertory Company in 1957 and made his London stage debut as a gaoler in "The Queen and the Welshman." The following year, Finlay made his Broadway debut in "Epitaph for George Dillon." He continued to appear on the London stage into the 80s. Frank Finlay died of heart failure following a long illness on January 30, 2016. He was 89. In 1962, Finlay made his film debut playing the small role of a booking clerk in the British New Wave classic "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner," but returned immediately to the stage. His portrayal of Iago to Olivier's "Othello" at the National Theatre (1964) contributed to his being chosen to play the role in the 1965 feature version, which earned...

A prolific stage performer, Frank Finlay came to international prominence repeating his stage role as a particularly villainous Iago to Laurence Olivier's "Othello" in the 1965 film version, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. A character actor, Finlay generally played provincials or police inspectors and frequently appeared in period films. He began his stage career in 1951, working in repertory theater, before winning a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). He appeared with the Guilford Repertory Company in 1957 and made his London stage debut as a gaoler in "The Queen and the Welshman." The following year, Finlay made his Broadway debut in "Epitaph for George Dillon." He continued to appear on the London stage into the 80s. Frank Finlay died of heart failure following a long illness on January 30, 2016. He was 89.

In 1962, Finlay made his film debut playing the small role of a booking clerk in the British New Wave classic "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner," but returned immediately to the stage. His portrayal of Iago to Olivier's "Othello" at the National Theatre (1964) contributed to his being chosen to play the role in the 1965 feature version, which earned him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination. Finlay was again cast with Olivier in "The Shoes of the Fisherman" (1967), albeit in a small role. That same year, he was the victim of Alan Arkin's bumbling "Inspector Clouseau." Finlay was cast as Amafi, a slave dealer, in "Shaft in Africa" (1973). He was better suited to the period garb of Porthos in Richard Lester's remake of "The Three Musketeers" (1973) and its two sequels (1975's "The Four Musketeers" and 1989's "The Return of the Musketeers"). Finlay continued to appear in films sporadically throughout his career, including roles in "Stiff Upper Lip" (1996), Roman Polanski's "The Pianist" (2002), and the romantic drama "The Waiting Room" (2007).

The small screen has offered Finlay more leading roles, particularly the title role in the syndicated 1981 limited series, "Casanova." In contrast, in 1987, he played Count Razetta, the rival to "Casanova" in a CBS TV-movie. He was Sancho Panza to Rex Harrison's knight in "The Adventures of Don Quixote" (CBS, 1973) and was an Arab in the remake of "The Thief of Baghdad" (NBC, 1978). In 1984, Finlay was Marley's Ghost terrorizing George C. Scott in the acclaimed CBS rendition of "A Christmas Carol" and went on to co-star in the WWII-era TV-movie "Arch of Triumph" (CBS, 1985). More recently, he was the father-in-law of "Stalin" (HBO, 1992) and a physician operating a clinic at which a murder had occurred in "A Mind to Murder," a 1996 episode of the PBS series "Mystery!" His final TV roles were in the Beethoven biopic "Eroica" (BBC 2003), in which he played Joseph Haydn, and "The Lost Prince" (BBC 2003), in which he played Prime Minister H.H. Asquith. Finlay retired from acting in 2007, and died following a lengthy illness on January 30, 2016 at his home in Weybridge, Surrey.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Royal Wedding (1951) Cabby
3.
 Here Comes the Groom (1951) Guest
4.
 Challenge to Lassie (1949) Newspaper reporter
5.
 Down Memory Lane (1949)
6.
 Julia Misbehaves (1948) Bill collector
7.
 Grand Canyon Trail (1948) Sheriff
8.
 Here Comes Trouble (1948) Street cleaner
9.
 Hills of Home (1948)
10.
 Till the Clouds Roll By (1947) Candy vendor
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