Peter Finch

Australian Actor
Born Sep 28, 1916

Frederick George Peter Ingle Finch was a British-born Australian actor. He is best remembered for his role as "crazed" television anchorman Howard Beale in the film Network, which earned him a posthumous Academy Award for Best Actor, his fifth Best Actor award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and a Best Actor award from the Golden Globes. He was the first of two people to win a posthumous Academy Award in an acting category; the other was fellow Australian Heath Ledger.… Read More

related links

News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Peter Finch.


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Peter Finch.


1916 Birth Born on September 28, 1916.
Alicia Finch married "Jock" Campbell in 1922.
1926 9 Years Old In 1926 he was sent to Australia to live with his great-uncle Edward Herbert Finch at Greenwich Point in Sydney.


1929 12 Years Old He attended the local school until 1929, then North Sydney Intermediate High School for three years.
1933 16 Years Old After graduating, Finch went to work as a copy boy for the Sydney Sun and began writing. However he was more interested in acting, and in late 1933 appeared in a play, Caprice, at the Repertory Theatre. … Read More
1935 18 Years Old Finch's first screen performance was in a 1935 short film, The Magic Shoes, an adaptation of the fairy tale Cinderella.


1938 21 Years Old He made his feature film debut in 1938 with a supporting role in Dad and Dave Come to Town for director Ken G. Hall, who went on to cast Finch in a larger role supporting Cecil Kellaway in Mr. Chedworth Steps Out (1939).
1941 24 Years Old Finch enlisted in the Australian Army on 2 June 1941. … Read More
1945 28 Years Old 1 More Event
He produced and performed Army Concert Party work, and in 1945 toured bases and hospitals with two Terence Rattigan plays he directed, French Without Tears and While the Sun Shines.
1946 29 Years Old 1 More Event
After the war, Finch continued to work extensively in radio and established himself as Australia's leading actor in that medium, winning Macquarie Awards for best actor in 1946 and 1947. … Read More


1948 31 Years Old 1 More Event
Olivier encouraged Finch to move to London, and he left Australia in 1948. … Read More
1951 34 Years Old In 1951 Finch played Iago onstage opposite Orson Welles in Othello. … Read More
1954 37 Years Old Towards the end of 1954 Finch's contract with Laurence Olivier was about to expire and he instead signed a seven-year contract with the Rank Organisation worth £87,500 to make one film a year for them. "We are going to build Peter into a major British star", said Earl St. John, Rank's head of production, at the time.
1956 39 Years Old Finch's first roles for Rank under the new arrangement were undistinguished: Passage Home, Make Me an Offer, Josephine and Men and Simon and Laura. However in 1956 he appeared in two major hits, A Town Like Alice (1956) and The Battle of the River Plate (1956), which saw exhibitors vote him the seventh most popular British star at the box office; the following year his ranking went up to third, being the fifth most popular regardless of nationality. … Read More


1976 59 Years Old At the time of Finch's death, he was doing a promotional tour for the 1976 film Network in which he played the television anchorman Howard Beale who develops messianic pretensions. … Read More


1977 60 Years Old After suffering a heart attack in the lobby of the Beverly Hills Hotel, Finch died on 14 January 1977, at the age of 60; he is interred in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on
Text is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.