Finlay Currie (20 January 1878 – 9 May 1968) was a Scottish actor of stage, screen and television. Currie was born in Edinburgh, where he later attended George Watson’s College. His acting career began on the stage. He and his wife, Maude Courtney, did a song-and-dance act in the USA in the late 1890s. He made his first film (The Old Man (1931 film)) in 1931. He appeared as a priest in the 1943 Ealing Second World War film Undercover. His most famous film role was the convict Abel Magwitch in David Lean’s Great Expectations (1946). He later began to appear in Hollywood film epics, including as Saint Peter in Quo Vadis (1951), as Balthazar, one of the Three Magi in the multi-Oscar-winning Ben-Hur (1959), the Pope in Francis of Assisi (1961) and as an aged, wise senator in The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964). He appeared in People Will Talk with Cary Grant, and he portrayed Robert Taylor’s embittered father in MGM’s Technicolor 1952 version of Ivanhoe. In 1962 he starred in an episode of NBC’s The DuPont Show of the Week, The Ordeal of Dr. Shannon, an adaptation of A. J. Cronin’s novel, Shannon’s Way. He was the subject of This Is Your Life in February 1963, when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews at the BBC Television Theatre in London.
In 1966 Finlay Currie played Mr. Lundie, the minister, in the television adaptation of the musical Brigadoon. His last performance was for the television series The Saint which starred Roger Moore. Currie played a dying mafioso boss in the two-part episode “Vendetta for the Saint”, which was released posthumously in 1969. Later he became a much respected antiques dealer, specialising in coins and precious metals. He was also a longtime collector of the works of Robert Burns. Finlay Currie died on 9 May 1968 in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, at age 90. His ashes were scattered into the English Channel.
- January, 20, 1878
- Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland
- May, 09, 1968
- United Kingdom
- Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, England