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Award-winning actor Albert Finney, known for 'Erin Brockovich,' 'Annie,' dies at 82

Finney, who was nominated for five Oscars, got his start as part of Britain's new "angry young man" dramatic movement of the 1960s.
/ Source: TODAY

British actor Albert Finney, who earned five Academy Award nominations during his 50-year-plus career, including one for "Erin Brockovich," has died after a short illness at 82.

The actor's family confirmed his death to the Associated Press.

ANNIE, Albert Finney, Aileen Quinn, 1982.
Albert Finney as Daddy Warbucks in the 1982 film "Annie." Everett Collection

Born in the suburbs of Manchester, England, in 1936, Finney dazzled audiences with his stage work early in his career, then moved into films as part of Britain's new wave of "angry young man" cinema.

But modern American audiences will remember him best from his work in 1963's "Tom Jones," for which he got his first Oscar nomination; 1982's "Annie" (he played Daddy Warbucks") and 2000's "Erin Brockovich," which earned him his final Oscar nomination.

Finney studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts alongside Peter O'Toole and broke big in a rough-and-tumble role in 1960's "Saturday Night and Sunday Morning." International success came with "Tom Jones," which set him up as a handsome leading man.

"Big Fish" - Press Junket
Albert Finney speaking about "Big Fish" in 2003 in New York.Getty Images

"One needs to be propositioned," Finney told Rolling Stone in 1982, "by a script, by an idea, by a situation. You need it to make you say, 'Come one, come on — you need this.' Like Alice with the cookie that said, 'Take me.'"

Over the years he bounced back and forth between British and American dramas, but never shied away from comedy or even musicals. In addition to "Annie," he played Ebenezer Scrooge in 1970's musical "Scrooge." Along the way he picked up a number of awards, including three Golden Globes.

ERIN BROCKOVICH, Conchata Ferrell, Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, 2000
Julia Roberts and Finney in 2000's "Erin Brockovich," which earned the actor his final Oscar nomination.Everett Collection

In addition, he was nominated for Oscars for 1974's "Murder on the Orient Express," 1983's "The Dresser" and 1984's "Under the Volcano."

Later in his career, he also appeared in supporting roles in a number of Hollywood films, thanks in part to directors who admired his early work. Those movies included 1990's "Miller's Crossing," 2003's "Big Fish" and 2012's "Skyfall," which was his last film appearance.

In 2011, he revealed he had kidney cancer.

Finney was married three times, the last in 2006 to travel agent Pene Delmage. He is survived by one son, Simon, a veteran camera operator.

"I always wanted to wander," he told Rolling Stone in 1982. "I also think I'm good as an actor. I'm not saying I can act terrific or great, but I can act good. And what I've always believed is that I'll get a job."