Albert Finney was born in 1935, in Salford, near Manchester, England. He studied at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, and began performing exclusively in Shakespeare in the 1950s. His first performance of note was on stage in Keith Waterhouse's bitter comedy Billy Liar. The film detailed the life of a rebellious, conniving young man who often retreated to an imaginary world. Finney's angry young man image was further boosted by his dynamic film portrayal of a cocky but charming factory worker who fights against the system in 1960's Saturday Night And Sunday Morning. Tom Jones in 1963 was a bawdy adaptation of Henry Fielding's 18th-century novel. Finney played a cad and bounder who gets even with his so-called social betters by seducing their wives. Finney was nominated for an Oscar for the role - he didn't win, but couldn't care less. He was nominated again for The Dresser (1983), in which he portrayed an actor falling apart on his 227th performance of King Lear. Finney put in a thunderous performance as a drunken, self-destructive diplomat in 1984's Under The Volcano. 'There will be few unmoved by Finney's towering performance as the tragic Britisher,' said film magazine Variety. More recently, he was impressive in the Coen brothers' enigmatic gangster drama Miller's Crossing. Although less prolific than his contemporary Michael Caine - who essayed a Finney-like role in 1966's Alfie! - Finney, at 68, remains a formidable presence on both stage and screen.