I'll always be personally partial to Finney's humorous and warm turn in Steven Soderbergh's Erin Brockovich, and one of my all-time favorite Finney performances is in Tim Burton's 2003 tearjerker Big Fish.
The bookmaker's son was born and educated in Salford, Greater Manchester, rising to worldwide stardom but despite being nominated for Oscars five times he never won.
In later years he brought authority to action movies, including the James Bond thriller "Skyfall" and two of the Bourne films. The 1990s gave him an opportunity to work with the Coen Brothers in Miller's Crossing, and he also expanded into television with roles in miniseries titles like Karaoke, Cold Lazarus and Nostromo.
The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (Rada) graduate continued working on the stage despite his film success, earning Tony nominations on Broadway for Luther and A Day in the Death of Joe Egg.
Here are some of the first online reactions to Albert Finney's death on social media...
Daniel Craig said "the world has lost a giant" as he paid tribute to Albert Finney, who has died aged 82 following a short illness. Though he started small with a supporting role in The Entertainer, he quickly rose to fame with a role by taking the lead in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning in 1960.
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Meghan came up with the idea when she and Harry were touring One25 and she was packing snacks for the women working the streets. On the message board, Lauren joked with a winking emoji when asked if it was true, writing: "I'm busy in Spring".
English actor David Morrissey hailed Finney as one of the greats.
Albert Finney, the charismatic Academy Award-nominated British actor who starred in films from "Tom Jones" to "Skyfall", has died. And he turned down offers of honors, including a knighthood in 2000 - "I think the Sir thing slightly perpetuates one of our diseases in England, which is snobbery", he said at the time.
In the ensuing decade, Finney's status as an established star saw him appear in a wide variety of material, including a mainstream musical (Scrooge), a low-budget crime comedy (Gumshoe, Stephen Frears' directorial debut) and the star-packed Agatha Christie adaptation Murder on the Orient Express, in which he played Hercule Poirot.
The name might not ring any bells, but you've probably seen the face of actor Albert Finney before. Funeral arrangements weren't immediately known.
Finney is survived by his third wife, Pene Delmage, son Simon and two grandchildren.