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Albert Finney: Daniel Craig leads tributes to late Bond co-star

Daniel Craig and Albert Finney as they appear in SkyfallImage copyright
Eon/MGM

Image caption

Finney (right) made his final screen appearance in Craig’s third Bond film

James Bond star Daniel Craig has led tributes to actor Albert Finney, with whom he appeared in 2012’s Skyfall.

“I’m deeply saddened by the news of Albert Finney’s passing,” he said. “The world has lost a giant.

“Wherever Albert is now, I hope there are horses and good company.”

Bond producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli also paid tribute, saying “it was a privilege to work with him and an honour to have had him as part of our Bond family.”

  • Albert Finney dies at 82
  • Obituary: Albert Finney
  • In pictures: Albert Finney’s life and career

Finney’s death at the age of 82 has prompted a flood of tributes to the British star, one of the leading actors of the post-war era.

Christopher Eccleston, who hails from Finney’s home city of Salford, told BBC North West Tonight: “He was the only actor I knew of from Salford, so he was my inspiration.”

He added: “What was interesting about him was he could deliver very, very truthful performances, but he also went on stage and played classical roles, and of course he was trained by and understudied Laurence Olivier, so he could do it all.”

‘Infectious sense of humour’

Paul Greengrass, who directed Finney in 2007 thriller The Bourne Ultimatum, said he would “miss him enormously”.

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.”

He continued: “Off screen he brought his infectious sense of humour to work every morning. He loved every aspect of the business and we in turn loved and revered him.”

US actress Bernadette Peters, who appeared alongside him in 1982’s Annie, was among others to express sadness.

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Comedian and novelist David Walliams remembered him simply as “the beautiful Albert Finney”.

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British film-maker Edgar Wright marked his passing by quoting one of his famous lines from Saturday Night and Sunday Morning.

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Stephen Merchant, co-creator of The Office and Extras, also used Arthur Seaton’s earthy dialogue to pay tribute.

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Christopher McQuarrie, director of the last two Mission: Impossible films, said Finney “was an artist with a Thompson” – a reference to his submachine gun prowess in Miller’s Crossing.

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Fellow film-maker Ava DuVernay paid tribute to his versatility, saying “that’s what acting means”.

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Colin Hanks, son of Oscar-winner Tom, said Finney was “a damn fine actor” who “made it seem effortless, even when you knew it wasn’t.”

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Pulp Fiction star Rosanna Arquette and British actor David Morrissey also paid tribute.

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Actor Rufus Sewell said he was “very sad” to hear about Finney’s death, adding that he “had the enormous privilege of working with him early on”.

“Apart from being effortlessly great he was also a great all-round example of how to behave,” he tweeted.

Cary Elwes, star of The Princess Bride and Robin Hood: Men in Tights, also paid his respects.

Paul Dennett, mayor of Finney’s home town Salford, said the flag at the Salford City Council office was flying at half mast as a mark of respect.

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The Lowry Theatre in Salford also paid tribute by mentioning his role in its creation.

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Mary Queen of Scots director Josie Rourke, a fellow Salford native, said he had been “an inspiration”.

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Others to post tributes include Bafta, the British Film Institute, the National Theatre, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and the Old Vic.

BBC One will show Finney’s 1994 film A Man of No Importance on Sunday at 23:30 GMT to mark his passing.

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