Frank Finlay dead: British Oscar-nominated actor who played opposite Olivier dies aged 89

In a wide-ranging career across stage and screen, Finlay starred as Porthos in the Three Musketeer films of the 1970s, alongside Oliver Reed, Richard Chamberlain and Michael York

Relatives of Frank Finlay have paid tribute to the Oscar-nominated actor after reporting that he had passed away earlier today aged 89.

Josh Coombes, a drummer with the band Tigress, said his grandfather had been a “funny, loving, amazing storyteller” and an “inspiration and one of the best actors this country has ever seen” as his family began posting messages on Twitter.

In a wide-ranging career across stage and screen, Finlay starred as Porthos in the Three Musketeer films of the 1970s, alongside Oliver Reed, Richard Chamberlain and Michael York, and opposite Susan Penhaligon in the taboo-challenging television series Bouquet Of Barbed Wire. He also took the lead role in Dennis Potter’s serial, Casanova, and starred in Shaft In Africa, the follow-up to the famous black private detective film starring Richard Roundtree. It was in a supporting role to Laurence Olivier in Othello back in 1965, for which he was nominated for an Oscar in 1965.

He was awarded a CBE gong in 1984, but many fans wondered why he was never knighted. "Perhaps I haven't been high-profile enough,” he suggested in a self-effacing interview with the Independent in the 1990s

His turns as Sancho Panza in The Adventures of Don Quixote and Voltaire in Candide, both BBC plays of the month, however, led to BAFTA awards.

He was married to his wife, Doreen Shepherd, for 50 years until her death in 2005. They had three children

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