Actor Tom Courtenay has paid a heartbreaking tribute to his friend Albert Finney, who has died aged 82, in which he describes their final meeting - when both knew it would be the last time they ever saw one another. Finney, who played Ebenezer Scrooge, Sir Winston Churchill and 'Daddy' Warbucks in Annie in a long and extraordinary career, died after a short illness. The actor, who beat kidney cancer in , had spent the past month in Britain's top cancer hospital - the Royal Marsden in London - before succumbing to a chest infection on Thursday. But it was only during their time on The Dresser that they became great friends.
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Tom Courtenay Facts & Wiki
O ver coffee and biscuits in a Soho hotel, the actor who played Billy Liar is showing me a picture of his dog on his iPhone. If this was not weird enough, Tom Courtenay then points out that Stanley, his seven-year-old pointer, is gazing longingly at Colin Firth on a Sunday supplement cover. I also sent him another where Stanley was deciding between him or Dustin Hoffman. To spend an hour with an actor whose career is practically as long as modern British cinema is a disarming experience. The angry young man is hot property again. How many books has Trump read? He was two when it broke out and he endured most of it from his home in heavily bombed Hull, where he lived near the fish dock; although, knowing no different, he loved it. In the Anderson shelters, I used to love getting up and giving them a song; it was exciting.
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Acting chameleon Sir Tom Courtenay, along with Sir Alan Bates and Albert Finney , became a front-runner in an up-and-coming company of rebel upstarts who created quite a stir in British "kitchen sink" cinema during the early '60s. An undying love for the theatre, however, had Courtenay channeling a different course from the aforementioned greats and he never, by his own choosing, attained comparable cinematic stardom. His reputation as an actor grew almost immediately with his professional debut in as Konstantin in "The Seagull" at the Old Vic. The story, which tells of a Yorkshire man who creates a fantasy world to shield himself from his mundane middle-class woes, was the initial spark in Tom's rise to fame. The recognition he received landed him squarely into the heap of things as a new wave of "angry young men" were taking over British cinema during the swinging '60s. Singled out for his earlier stage work at RADA, he was eventually handed the title role in the war film Private Potter , but it was his second movie that clinched stardom. Winning the role of Colin Smith in The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner , Courtenay invested everything he had in this bruising portrayal of youthful desolation and rebellion. As a reform school truant whose solitary sentencing for robbing a bakery leads to a reawakening and subsequent recognition as a long distance runner, he was awarded a "Promising Newcomer" award from the British Film Academy, It was Courtenay then, and not Finney, who recreated his stage triumph as Billy Fisher in the stark film version of Billy Liar Vivid contributions to the films King Rat , the ever-popular Doctor Zhivago , which earned him his first Oscar nomination, and The Night of the Generals followed.