Frank received Academy Award, Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominations for his performance as William Shakespeare￢ﾀﾙs Iago in Stuart Burge￢ﾀﾙs 1965 film of Laurence Olivier￢ﾀﾙs staging of Othello. He also won the Best Actor Award at the San Sebastian International Film Festival.
He later essayed the definitive screen portrayal of Alexandre Dumas￢ﾀﾙ musketeer Porthos in three movies for director Richard Lester: The Three Musketeers (1974), The Four Musketeers (1975) and The Return of the Musketeers (1989). Frank￢ﾀﾙs many other films include The Longest Day; Tony Richardson￢ﾀﾙs The Lonliness of the Long Distance Runner; Martin Ritt￢ﾀﾙs The Molly Maguires; Bob Clark￢ﾀﾙs Murder by Decree; Alan Bridges￢ﾀﾙ The Return of the Soldier (for which he recieved a BAFTA Award nomination); Franco Zeffrelli￢ﾀﾙs Sparrow; and Eric Styles￢ﾀﾙ Dreaming of Joseph Lees; and most recently Roman Polanski￢ﾀﾙs multi-award winning The Pianist and Norma Jewison￢ﾀﾙs The Statement.
His similarly extensive television projects have earned him two BAFTA Awards, for his performances in The Death of Adolf Hitler (starring as Hitler, with Rex Firkin directing); The Adventures of Don Quixote (as Sancho Panza, opposite Rex Harrison, for director Alvin Rakoff); the ground breaking Bouquet of Barbed Wire and Another Bouquet; 84 Charing Cross Road; and recently the critically acclaimed series The Sins. Born in Farnworth, Lancashire, Finlay had already begun performing on stage when he earned the Sir James Knott Scholarship at London￢ﾀﾙs Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). Since then he has led theatre companies in London and on Broadway.
He was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1984 New Year￢ﾀﾙs Honours List, and was presented with his CBE by the Queen in February1984.