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William Finley (1942 - 2012)

If I don't hear about any horror fan screaming out into the night at this sad and grim news, then I will truly be surprised! I know there's a few tears in my eyes already. It appears that William Finley, beloved character actor, passed away on April 14th, 2012 due to complications after surgery.

Finley was mainly known for his collaborative efforts with noted director Brian De Palma, whose film credits with him include The Wedding Party, Dionysus, Sisters, and of course, Phantom of the Paradise. Finley was also known for his working relationship with horror film director Tobe Hooper as well, starring in Eaten Alive, The Funhouse and Night Terrors. He also starred in Wise Blood alongside Brad Douriff and wrote the script for The First Time. According to IMDB, his last known role was George Tilden in Brian De Palma's The Black Dahlia.

Finley's trademarks besides his phenomenal versatility as an actor was his thin, lanky body, his bulbously pair of glasses that popped out at you, and his distinct, calm, creepy voice. I had first become introduced to Bill's work when I first saw him in The Funhouse, where he played Marco the Magnificent, a drunken, pathetic stage magician with a few tricks up his sleeve. To this day, he is still one of the best characters in that horror movie, delivering a cool historical lesson about Vlad the Imapler while also performing one of the most frightening and cruel gags I've ever seen a magician (real or fictitious) do. I never met him personally, but I've heard from others stories about what a sweet and kind human being he was.

All I have to say now is this: Rest in peace, Bill! Your film legacy will live on in the hearts of horror film fans forever!

 Thanks for the nice tribute.

 Thanks for the nice tribute. I'm not too familiar with the movie Wise Blood. Is it still available? I'd love to be able to get it.

    In reading the tributes over the past weeks, I'm hard pressed to find ANY page where Phantom of the Paradise ISN'T mentioned in connection with William.  What I wouldn't give to hear a Brian DePalma interview where he gives his reasons for connecting actor and character.  The amazing thing is, they work so well, but if you saw William in SISTERS before, even one movie earlier or later, you'd still be wracking your brain to figure out where you saw Dr. Emil Breton before.   I see him and I think of John Waters. I think that's his name. Still I don't think WINSLOW. 

   Being from Winnipeg, I did have the HONOR of meeting William, getting both books of Goethe's Faust autographed and giving him a THANK YOU hug at Phantompalooza.  He seemed pleasantly surprised by the sight of those books. In the meantime, my brain was in Homer Simpson mode. "OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG. You're in the same room with WINSLOW LEACH!" 

Wise Blood is not only

Wise Blood is not only available on DVD, it's through Criterion Collection. Amazon purchase link.

"He went for a little walk! You should have seen his face!"

 Thanks!!  Much appreciated!

 Thanks!!  Much appreciated!

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