Classic Film Club



Peter Finch

Peter Finch (1976)
  • © 1976 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
  • (Peter Finch in Network, 1976)



Peter Finch was born Frederick Ingle-Finch in London, in 1916.   His father was a military officer and his parents divorced when he was still a toddler.   Finch was raised by relatives in France, India and Australia.

He performed in Sydney theatre and on the radio before making his Australian film debut in 1938, at the age of 22, for Cinesound Productions.   He appeared in Australian films through the 1940s before being hired by Laurence Olivier to join his theatrical troupe.   By 1950, Finch had appeared in his first Hollywood film, shot on location in London.

Finch received his first Best British Actor BAFTA Award in 1956 and went on to become a 5-time winner of the honor (a record he still holds) in addition to being a 7-time nominee.   His last BAFTA win was for his starring role in Network


He also won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in the classic Network (1976) and was nominated for another Best Actor Oscar for his work in Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971).

In 1954, Holden won the Best Actor Academy Award for his role in the World War II film Stalag 17 (1953).   Late in his career, he landed another Oscar nomination for his starring turn in Network (1976).

Finch married three times:

  1. Tamara Tchinarova (1919-2017), ballet dancer/interpreter, married 1943-1959, one child, divorced.   They divorced after she discovered his affair with the actress Vivien Leigh who was then married to actor/director Laurence Olivier.
  2. Yolande Turner (1935-2003), actress, married 1959-1965, two children, divorced.   Their son is the writer/producer/actor and business executive Charles Finch.
  3. Eletha Barrett, married 1973-1977, one child.

He died of a heart attack, in 1977, in the lobby of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California while promoting his last film, Network.   Finch was 60 years old.




  • Network
  • 1976
  • A news anchorman becomes emotionally unstable and a programming director who takes advantage of his ranting to increase network ratings.

    Sidney Lumet directs Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, and Robert Duvall.

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