Finlay Currie was a terrific Scottish character actor in British and U.S. films from the thirties right through to the sixties. He was born in Edinburh in 1878. He and his Maude Courtney had a vaudeville act and they toured the U.S. with their revue in the 1890’s. His first film was “The Old Man” in 1932. His film career highlights include “The Edge of the World” in 1937, “49th Parallel”, “Thunder Rock” and “I Know Where I’m Going”. He gave a wonderful performance in David Lean’s verision of “Great Expectations” as Magwitch in 1946. He went to Hollywood in the early 1950’s and made such films as “People Will Talk” with Cary Grant and Jeanne Crain, “Stars and Stripes Forever” and “Treasure of the Golden Condor”. Back in Britain in his eighties he was featured in “Billy Liarin 1963 “, “The Battle of the Villa Fiorita” and “Bunny Lake is Missing”. He died in 1968 at the age of 90.
Scottish-born Finlay Currie was a former church organist and choirmaster who made his stage debut at 20 years of age. It took him 34 more years before making his first film, but he worked steadily for another 30 years after that. Although he was a large, imposing figure, with a rich, deep voice and somewhat authoritarian demeanor, he was seldom cast in villainous parts. He received great acclaim for his role as Magwitch inGreat Expectations (1946), and one of his best remembered roles was as Shunderson,Cary Grant‘s devoted servant with a secret past, in People Will Talk (1951). Later in life he became a much respected antiques dealer, specializing in coins and precious metals. He died in England at age 90.
Anyone who knows me are aware that I am a bit of a movie buff. Over the past few years I have been collecting signed photographs of my favourite actors.
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