SOMETHING WENT BLOOEY HERE AND I LOST A LOT OF GOOD MATERIAL ON PETER FINCH. WHEN I GET TIME, I'LL BUT IT BACK TOGETHER AGAIN. SORRY!
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Frederick George Peter Ingle-Finch
5' 11" (1.80 m)
Despite being one of the finest actors of his generation, Peter Finch will be remembered as much for his reputation as a hard-drinking, hell-raising womaniser as for his performances on the screen. He was born in London in 1916 and went to live in Sydney, Australia at the age of ten. There he worked in a series of dead-end jobs before taking up acting, his film debut being in the mediocre comedy Dad and Dave Come to Town (1938). He made his stage debut as a comedian's stooge in 1939. Laurence Olivier spotted him and persuaded him to return to Britain to perform classic roles on the stage. Finch then had an affair with Olivier's wife, Vivien Leigh. Despite being married three times, Finch also had highly-publicised affairs with actresses Kay Kendall and Mai Zetterling. Finch soon switched to film after suffering appalling stage fright. As a screen actor, he won five BAFTA awards and his talent was beyond doubt. His two finest roles, the only two for which he received Oscar nominations, were as the homosexual Jewish doctor in Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971) and as the 'mad prophet of the air-waves' in Network (1976). He died a couple of months before being awarded the Oscar for 'Network'and remains the only actor to have won the award posthumously.
IMDb mini-biography by
Peter Finch's widow, Jamaican-born Eletha, accepted his Oscar posthumously before the Academy.
Entombed at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Hollywood, California - Cathedral Mausoleum, Corridor A, Crypt 1224 (Across From Rudolph Valentino)
Suffered from fear of flying
He was the natural son of Major Jock Campbell, a Highlander in the Black Watch and Alicia Ingle-Finch, during her marriage to the notable mountaineer George Ingle-Finch. George was the son of an eminent lawyer from New South Wales.
Is portrayed by Jerome Ehlers in Darlings of the Gods (1989) (TV)
[When asked why he chose acting as a profession] "If I was going to be broke I decided I might as well be with actors as anyone else. They were cheerful idiots and seemed to take it better."
"Good acting should teach people to understand rather than judge."
"Hollywood must have been terrific once."
"Success is a very tough mistress. For years, while you're struggling, she wants nothing to do with you. Then, one day you find yourself in the room with her and even though the key is on the inside, you can't leave. 'You've made your choice', she says, 'I don't care how exhausted you are - you're going to stay here for the rest of your life making love to me'."
"I do not believe that with a fictional character you can force yourself too far away from yourself. There has to be some of you in it."
Biography from Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia:
"I'm mad as hell," he roared, "and I'm not going to take it anymore!" That was the battle cry of the frazzled TV anchorman played by Finch in Network (1976), and his performance in that film remains the one best remembered by American audiences. A rich childhood took him from France to India and back to his parents' native Australia, where he drifted during the Depression years, finding work in legitimate theater in 1935. The rugged, good-looking actor launched his screen career after several years in Australian radio and vaudeville. Finch's screen debut in 1938's Dave and Dad Come to Town didn't exactly make him a top screen attraction, and he continued in radio, occasionally narrating British films on the side. He came to London at the behest of Laurence Olivier, who made him a protégé. Although he appeared in a few films during the war years, his movie career didn't begin in earnest until the late 1940s. He worked in the Hollywood-financed productions The Miniver Story (1950) and Elephant Walk (1954), and played the evil Sheriff of Nottingham in Walt Disney's The Story of Robin Hood (1952), getting good notices and winning himself some fans. Several years of supporting roles followed, and he won British Film Academy awards for his work in A Town Like Alice (1956) and The Trials of Oscar Wilde (1960).
As he matured, Finch retained his good looks, although the weight of years added a weatherbeaten, world-weary cast to his features. He scored big in Far From the Madding Crowd (1967), and was Oscarnominated for his work in the British-U.S. production Sunday, Bloody Sunday (1971). His lead role in the highly touted but inept, elephantine remake of Lost Horizon (1973) aborted an attempt to transform him into a Hollywood leading man, but Network went a long way toward undoing the damage. Finch died of a stroke during a promotional tour for that film; the Mo- tion Picture Academy awarded him a posthumous Best Actor Oscar for his riveting performance.
OTHER FILMS INCLUDE: 1953: The Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The Heart of the Matter 1954: Father Brown 1955: Simon and Laura 1957: The Pursuit of the Graf Spee 1959: The Nun's Story 1960: Kidnapped 1963: In the Cool of the Day 1964: The Pumpkin Eater 1966: The Flight of the Phoenix 1971: The Red Tent 1972: Something to Hide 1973: The Nelson Affair 1977: Raid on Entebbe (telefilm, shown posthumously).
Copyright © 1994 Leonard Maltin, used by arrangement with Signet, a division of Penguin Putnam, Inc.