Farewell, William Finley

The Arts

A lot of wonderful character actors came out of US movies in the seventies. William Finley was the star of ‘Phantom of the Paradise’ and ‘Sisters’ (retitled in the UK, ‘Blood Sisters’) and appeared in Tobe Hooper’s ‘The Funhouse’ as a failed magician. His hopelessly credulous but slightly forlorn face made him perfect as an underdog in ‘Phantom’ – we still use his catchphrase from that film – ‘But I’m innocent!’, but he could seem sinister too, and was used to great effect as Margot Kidder’s husband in ‘Sisters’, a film I still adore. He died at 71.

2 comments on “Farewell, William Finley”

  1. Sam Tomaino says:

    Sorry to hear this. ‘Phantom of the Paradise’ is a special favorite of mine. He’s great in it! Farewell, Winslow Leach.

  2. Sam Tomaino says:

    Just checked the NY Times OBIT. The penultimate sentence reads as follows:

    “He earned a degree from Columbia and worked with Mr. De Palma and the director Wilford Leach at Sarah Lawrence College.”

    His character in ‘Phantom’ was WINSLOW Leach. That cannot be a coincidence.

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