William Finley (actor)

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William Finley
Born(1940-09-20)September 20, 1940
DiedApril 14, 2012(2012-04-14) (aged 71)
Alma mater[graduate from The Collegiate School, New York City, 1958]Columbia University[1]
Years active1962–2002
Spouse(s)Susan Weiser (1975–2012) (his death) (1 child)[2]
ChildrenDashiell Finley

William Finley (September 20, 1940 – April 14, 2012)[3] was an American actor who has appeared in the films Simon, Silent Rage, Phantom of the Paradise,[4] Sisters[4] and The Wedding Party.[4] He had a long-running friendship and collaboration with director Brian De Palma, beginning with the student films Woton's Wake (1962),[4] The Wedding Party (1966) and Murder à la Mod (1968). He also had roles in three films by Tobe Hooper: Eaten Alive, The Funhouse and Night Terrors. Under the name W. Franklin Finley, he wrote the screenplay for the film The First Time (1983). He was also the co-author of the book Racewalking (1985).

Finley graduated from Columbia University in 1963. He resided in New York City with his wife and son.


Year Title Role Notes
1962 Woton's Wake Woton short
1968 Murder à la Mod Otto
1969 The Wedding Party Alistair filmed in 1963
1970 Dionysus in '69 Dionysus
1973 Sisters Dr. Emil Breton credited as Bill Finley
1974 Phantom of the Paradise Winslow Leach / The Phantom
1976 Obsession
1977 Eaten Alive Roy
1978 The Fury Raymond Dunwoodie
1979 Wise Blood Man uncredited
1980 Simon Fichandler
1980 Dressed to Kill Bobbi voice, uncredited
1981 The Funhouse Marco the Magnificent
1982 Silent Rage Dr. Paul Vaughn
1984 Terror in the Aisles The Phantom archive footage
1985 Double Negative Milt short, credited as Bill Finley
1993 Night Terrors Dr. Matteson
2006 The Black Dahlia George Tilden credited as Bill Finley, final film role


Finley was diagnosed with an inflamed colon on April 6, 2012. He underwent surgery three days after his admission. He appeared to be doing well after the surgery, but on the morning of April 14, 2012, Finley died at age 71 in New York City.[4]


  1. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/18/movies/william-finley-actor-in-de-palma-films-dies-at-71.html
  2. ^ https://variety.com/2012/film/news/actor-william-finley-dies-at-69-1118052722/
  3. ^ "In Memory Of William Finley (1942-2012), 5 Things You Might Not Know About 'Phantom Of The Paradise'". indiewire. Retrieved 2012-04-16.
  4. ^ a b c d e Slotnik, Daniel E. (April 17, 2012). "William Finley, Actor in De Palma Movies, Dies at 71". The New York Times.

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