Peter Finch

Actor, Director, Producer
A former vaudeville performer and popular radio actor in Australia, Peter Finch transitioned to film in his native England, where he rose from supporting actor to leading man in a number of emotionally charged dramas ... Read more »
Born: 09/27/1916 in London, England, GB

Filmography

Actor (37)

Network 1976 (Movie)

Howard Beale (Actor)

England Made Me 1973 (Movie)

Erich Krogh (Actor)

The Abdication 1973 (Movie)

Cardinal Azzolino (Actor)

Lost Horizon 1972 (Movie)

Richard Conway (Actor)

The Nelson Affair 1972 (Movie)

Lord Nelson (Actor)

Sunday, Bloody Sunday 1971 (Movie)

Dr Daniel Hirsch (Actor)

Something to Hide 1970 (Movie)

Harry Field (Actor)

La Tenda rossa 1969 (Movie)

General Nobile (Actor)

The Legend of Lylah Clare 1968 (Movie)

Lewis Zarkan (Actor)

Far From the Madding Crowd 1967 (Movie)

William Boldwood (Actor)

10:30 P.M. Summer 1966 (Movie)

Paul (Actor)

Judith 1965 (Movie)

Aaron Stein (Actor)

The Flight of the Phoenix 1964 (Movie)

Captain Harris (Actor)

The Pumpkin Eater 1964 (Movie)

Jake Armitage (Actor)

First Men in the Moon 1963 (Movie)

Bailiff's Man (Actor)

Girl With Green Eyes 1963 (Movie)

Eugene Gaillard (Actor)

In the Cool of the Day 1963 (Movie)

Murray Logan (Actor)

I Thank a Fool 1961 (Movie)

Stephen Dane (Actor)

The Sins of Rachel Cade 1961 (Movie)

Colonel Henri Derode (Actor)

Kidnapped 1960 (Movie)

Alan Breck Stewart (Actor)

No Love For Johnnie 1960 (Movie)

Johnnie Byrne (Actor)

Operation Amsterdam 1960 (Movie)

Jan Smit (Actor)

The Trials of Oscar Wilde 1959 (Movie)

Oscar Wilde (Actor)

The Nun's Story 1958 (Movie)

Dr Fortunati (Actor)

A Town Like Alice 1957 (Movie)

Joe Harman (Actor)

Windom's Way 1957 (Movie)

Dr Alec Windom (Actor)

Robbery Under Arms 1956 (Movie)

Captain Starlight (Actor)

The Pursuit of the Graf Spee 1956 (Movie)

Capt Hans Langsdorff, (Actor)

The Shiralee 1956 (Movie)

Jim Macauley (Actor)

Simon and Laura 1955 (Movie)

Simon Foster (Actor)

The Warriors 1955 (Movie)

DeVille (Actor)

Elephant Walk 1954 (Movie)

John Wiley (Actor)

Father Brown 1954 (Movie)

Flambeau (Actor)

Josephine and Men 1954 (Movie)

(Actor)

Raid on Entebbe (TV Show)

Actor

The Miniver Story (Movie)

Polish officer (Actor)

The Story of Robin Hood (Movie)

Sheriff of Nottingham (Actor)

Biography

A former vaudeville performer and popular radio actor in Australia, Peter Finch transitioned to film in his native England, where he rose from supporting actor to leading man in a number of emotionally charged dramas. While he delivered more than a few notable performances in his four-decade career, Finch was forever identified as the raving mad prophet Howard Beale in "Network" (1976), whose line "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!" remained one of the most identifiable in all of cinema history. After supporting roles in several British-made films, he made the Hollywood transition with "The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men" (1952) and starred opposite Elizabeth Taylor in "Elephant" (1954). Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Finch went back and forth between films made in Hollywood and England, earning award nominations along the way for his performances in "The Nun's Story" (1959), "The Trials of Oscar Wilde" (1960) and "No Love for Johnnie" (1961). Some time passed before Finch delivered another noteworthy performance, this time earning acclaim for his sympathetic and non-clichéd turn as a gay man in "Sunday Bloody Sunday" (1971). A few years later, he captured attention as the raving maniac Beale in "Network," only to die from a heart attack two months before winning his one and only Academy Award, making him the first actor to win a posthumous Oscar.

Relationships

Eletha Barrett

Wife
Jamaican

Shirley Bassey

Companion
had relationship in the late 1960s

Anita Finch

Daughter
mother, Tamara Tchinarava

Diana Finch

Daughter
mother, Yolande Turner

Samantha Finch

Daughter
mother, Yolande Turner

Charles Finch

Son
born c. 1962 mother, Yolande Turner directed "Where Sleeping Dogs Lie" (1992) in 2000, formed Artists Independent Network, handling clients like Gillian Anderson, Willem Dafoe and Jamie Bell

Alicia Fisher

Mother
English

Vivien Leigh Actor

Companion
had affair when Finch toured Australia with Leigh and Laurence Olivier in 1948

Tamara Tchinarava

Wife
married in 1943 divorced in 1958

Yolande Turner

Wife
divorced c. 1968

Milestones

1977

Collapsed in the Beverly Hills Hotel lobby while waiting to appear on "Good Morning America" to promote "Network"

1960

Debut as film director, writer and producer of short, "Antonito"

1949

London stage debut opposite Edith Evans in "Daphne Laureola"

1949

Joined Old Vic in London; under contract to Laurence Olivier (date approximate)

1949

British film acting debut, "Train of Events" ("The Actor" episode)

1948

First film credit as assistant director and casting director, "Eureka Stockade"

1938

First released Australian film as actor, "Dad and Dave Come to Town"

1935

Stage acting debut touring New South Wales in "While Parents Sleep"

1935

First Australian film as actor, "Magic Shoes" (unreleased)

1926

After parents divorce lived with grandmother in Paris and India until age 10 then moved to Australia

Worked as a waiter and apprentice on a sheep farm

Joined a variety act as a stooge to the comedian; toured Australia and performed in tent shows

Served with Australian First Army in anti-aircraft battalion in Middle East during WWII

Formed own traveling theater company, the Mercury (after Orson Welles's company) which performed the classics in little theaters and factories at lunch time; Laurence Olivier visited company while touring Australia with the Old Vic in 1947

Bonus Trivia

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"In the right material he always looked good--he has a good actor's voice and stance, a touch of arrogance, a touch of humour, some warmth, leading man's looks and the same sort of gritty dependability that characterized the great male stars of Hollywood's golden age." --David Shipman ("The Great Movie Stars--The International Years" 1972)

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