In an alternate universe this could have happened...
Jigsaw Lounge posted that image to twitter last night in response to a thread started by Deux Ex Cinema, one I hadn't seen. It blew my mind to learn that the great actor screen-tested for Peter O'Toole's signature part and was, according to some, David Lean's first choice. The question posed:
Did this five time nominee ever come close to actually winning an Oscar?
I'd argue that he never did though some will disagree. He was way too young for Oscar when he headlined a Best Picture Winner (Tom Jones, 1963) as he was only 27. That would have made him the youngest winner of all time in that category, a record that would have still held since Adrien Brody is the current record holder at 29. At the time I believe Finney was the sixth youngest man ever nominated for lead, but he's since been pushed out of the top ten in the last decade or so by 26 and 27 year olds who were a smidge younger in their years like Ryan Gosling, Heath Ledger, and Jesse Eisenberg. By the time Erin Brockovich (2000), his last nomination, rolled around he was up against a juggernaut contender in Benicio Del Toro (Traffic) who was so popular that he won the SAG as Leading actor before winning the supporting Oscar for the same role.
Albert Finney's last screen appearance was in Skyfall (2012) but he's still alive at 79. Will some filmmaker give him one last great role or should Oscar give him an Honorary?
Here's a list to ponder...
Living Men with the Most (Acting) Nominations Who've Never Won
- Albert Finney (5)
- [Tie] Warren Beatty*, Ed Harris, and Leonardo DiCaprio (4 each)
- [Tie] Brad Pitt*, Joaquin Phoenix, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, Bradley Cooper, Nick Nolte, and Kirk Douglas* (3 each)
* they have Oscars for something else but not a competitive acting Oscar