Albert Finney, Miller's Crossing and Erin Brockovich actor, dies at 82

The adaptation of Malcolm Lowry's Under the Volcano, in which Finney played alcoholic ex-diplomat Geoffrey Firmin, brought him his fourth and final best actor Oscar nomination - though he would go on to earn a best supporting actor nomination in 2001 for the Steven Soderbergh-directed Erin Brockovich.

Soon some critics were hailing him as "the next Laurence Olivier" - a commanding presence who would light up the British stage.

They said: "We are heartbroken at the loss of Albert Finney". His breakout role came in 1963's Tom Jones, an adventure-comedy period piece that won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and became a smash at the box office.

Finney has won numerous awards including several BAFTA awards, an Emmy, a Golden Globe and several Screen Actors Guild awards.

Finney studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, beginning his career as a Shakespearean stage actor.

The family of British actor Albert Finney confirmed on Friday that the multi Oscar-nominated actor had died at the age of 82. Wright featured in Daniel Craig's first two James Bond films "Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace".

British actor Albert Finney puffs a big cigar as he sits in the back seat of a vintage cap on the set of "Annie" in NY.

"We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Albert Finney".

He also turned down both a CBE and a knighthood.

Greengrass said: "Albert was one of our greatest actors, significant not just for his talent but for the way he made British theatre and cinema reflect life as it was truly lived".

Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, the co-producers of Eon Productions, led tributes to the late actor, best known for roles in Tom Jones, Erin Brockovich and Annie.

Finney also tried his hand at directing and producing and played a vital role in sustaining British theater. Finney also used his popularity at the time to spark a directing career with a film called Charlie Bubbles in 1968.

He went on to star in director Tim Burton's "Big Fish" and portrayed Britain's wartime leader, Winston Churchill, in "The Gathering Storm".

He was married three times, to actors Jane Wenham and Anouk Aimeé from 1957-61 and 1970-78 respectively, and to travel agent Pene Delmage in 2006.

  • Marlene Weaver