Sunday 27 May 2018

Tributes pour in following death of veteran actor Frank Finlay

Frank Finlay who has died aged 89. Photo credit: PA Wire
Frank Finlay who has died aged 89. Photo credit: PA Wire Newsdesk Newsdesk

Veteran actor Frank Finlay has reportedly died aged 89.

He starred in The Three Musketeers in 1973 alongside Oliver Reed and Richard Chamberlain, and was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the Oscars for his portrayal of Iago in Othello.

Finlay starred in TV series Bouquet Of Barbed Wire in 1976, which was seen as one of the most controversial dramas of the era, and he also played Casanova in a TV series in 1971.

Tributes have been paid to Finlay by stars on Twitter.

Actor and writer Mark Gatiss said: "Bouquets to the great Frank Finlay. Musketeer, vampire hunter, green-eyed Iago. A wonderfully fiery presence on stage and screen. RIP."

Sir Roger Moore said Finlay was "a great co-star" in 1978's The Wild Geese, while John Challis, who played Boycie in Only Fools And Horses, wrote: "Such sad news to hear that dear Frank Finlay has died. Happy times with him touring Laughter on the 23rd Floor."

Reports of Finlay's death came as stars led an outpouring of grief on Twitter following the death of Sir Terry Wogan.

Presenter Alexander Armstrong wrote: "Oh Lord, and Frank Finlay too. My father-in-law in Life Begins, an astonishing actor and wonderful man. What a sad, sad day."

David Essex tweeted: "So sorry that dear Frank Finlay passed away yesterday. He was a wonderful Actor and a gentleman. As Bligh in Mutiny he was inspiring RIP."

Actor Colin Baker wrote: "Very sad to hear we have lost the lovely, gentle, talented Frank Finlay. And now Sir Terry. Too many greats leaving us."

Loose Women panellist Sherrie Hewson wrote: "So very sad !! the wonderful actor Frank Finlay has died ! Amazing talent will always be remembered !!"

Born 1926, in Farnworth, Lancashire, Finlay left school at the age of 14 and took on several odd jobs to make ends meet.

During this time, he began appearing with amateur theatre groups and realised his future lay on the stage.

After landing his first professional role in Scotland in 1951, he won a scholarship to London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art before appearing in rep in Guildford.

He did not appear in the West End until he was 31, and after making a series of acclaimed performances in various plays, he was invited to join Laurence Olivier's National Theatre Company.

He starred opposite the legendary actor in Othello, and then reprised the role on the big screen in 1965, bagging an Oscar nomination in the process.

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