William Finley Poster


Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (3)  | Trivia (13)

Overview (4)

Born in Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA
Died in Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA  (complications following surgery)
Birth NameWilliam Franklin Finley III
Height 6' 4" (1.93 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Marvelously quirky, distinctive and versatile character actor William Franklin Finley was born on September 20, 1940 in New York City. Finley attended Columbia University, where he first met future filmmaker Brian De Palma. The lanky 6'4" Finley first began acting on the New York stage. He made his film debut in De Palma's odd short movie Woton's Wake. Finley went on to play a deliciously rich and colorful array of strikingly idiosyncratic parts for De Palma: a slow-witted stage hand in Murder a la Mod (1968), the disapproving friend of a guy who was about to be married in The Wedding Party (1969), the wicked titular villain in Dionysus in '69 (1970); splendid as Margot Kidder's freaky psychiatrist husband in Sisters (1972); excellent and engaging in a rare substantial lead as the meek and nerdy struggling songwriter Winslow Leach in the delightfully outrageous Phantom of the Paradise (1974), and a seedy psychic in The Fury (1978).

Finley tackled a couple of equally memorable off-center roles in a pair of superior Tobe Hooper fright features: he was Marilyn Burns' deranged husband in Eaten Alive (1976) and a pathetic drunken carnival magician in The Funhouse (1981). Finley was once again fine as a geeky scientist in the exciting Chuck Norris horror/action hybrid Silent Rage (1982). In addition to acting, Finley composed the theme song for Murder a la Mod and co-wrote the script for the offbeat teen coming-of-age comedy The First Time (1983). Finley had a small, yet chilling part as a creepy private investigator in the disappointing The Black Dahlia (2006). William Finley died at age 71 on April 14, 2012; he was survived by his wife Susan and son Dashiell.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: woodyanders

Spouse (1)

Susan Weiser-Finley (21 September 1974 - 14 April 2012) ( his death) ( 1 child)

Trade Mark (3)

Deep resonant voice
Towering height and slender frame
Often worked with Brian De Palma

Trivia (13)

Attended Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University, which was where he met Brian De Palma.
One of his colleagues at Sarah Lawrence College was future filmmaker Brian De Palma, whom he worked with on several student films.
Best known by many cult fans for his lead role as struggling songwriter Winslow Leach in the rock opera Phantom of the Paradise (1974).
He taught in the Theatre Department of Sarah Lawrence College, which was headed by director Wilford Leach.
He was born exactly one day after his Phantom of the Paradise (1974) co-star Paul Williams.
He was the same age with Brian De Palma and Paul Williams when they made Phantom of the Paradise (1974).
Attended and graduated from Columbia University in 1963.
He named his son after writer Dashiell Hammett.
Brian De Palma was the filmographer at his wedding in 1974.
Parents were William Franklin Finley II and Dorothy Wainwright.
Father of Dashiell Finley.
Has English and Irish ancestry.
Brother-in-law of Stanley Weiser.

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