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Sunday, April 15, 2012
September 9, 1940 - April 14, 2012

William Finley passed away yesterday morning following a surgery, details of which are unknown at this time. He was 71. Born in 1940, Finley met Brian De Palma at college, and began acting in De Palma's early films, beginning with the award-winning short, Woton's Wake. It is next to impossible to think of De Palma's cinema without William Finley. He appeared onscreen in seven of De Palma's feature films: The Wedding Party, Murder à la Mod, Dionysus In '69, Sisters, Phantom Of The Paradise (Finley's most famous and beloved role), The Fury, and The Black Dahlia. Finley also provided the offscreen voice of Bobbi in De Palma's Dressed To Kill. In the early 1980s, Finley helped one of De Palma's Home Movies students from Sarah Lawrence College, Charlie Loventhal, by contributing to the script of Loventhal's directorial debut, The First Time. Finley appeared in three films by cult horror director Tobe Hooper: Eaten Alive, The Funhouse, and Night Terrors. Filmmaker Edgar Wright, who counts Phantom Of The Paradise as one of his favorite films, posted on his blog tonight about hearing the news of Finley's passing. Wright notes that Finley's other roles "included Marshall Brickman’s underseen and underrated comedy Simon with Alan Arkin," and "the bonkers Silent Rage." Finley also had an uncredited role in John Huston's Wise Blood.

Below is the intro to De Palma's Murder à la Mod, which features a theme song written and performed by Finley, who also stars in the film as Otto.

Listen to internet radio with MOVIE GEEKS UNITED on Blog Talk Radio

Posted by Geoff at 8:37 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, April 22, 2012 4:35 PM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (5) | Permalink | Share This Post

Monday, April 16, 2012 - 12:21 PM CDT

Name: "Doug Carlson"
Home Page: http://www.phantomoftheparadise.ca/why.html

We were fortunate enough to bring William and his family up to Winnipeg, where Phantom of the Paradise was a big hit, for our Phantompaloozas in 2005 and 2006.

Bill was a real trouper - game for anything, and a thorough gentleman.  One of our biggest thrills was hearing how he showed a delighted Brian De Palma his photos after the first event.

We'll miss him dearly and send our support and condolences to his family.


Monday, April 16, 2012 - 1:24 PM CDT

Name: "Danny"

I never post here (even if I come here like... twice a day), but I had to tell how sad I am that this icon of the seventies is now gone. It's strange, I think that just like Bela Lugosi with Dracula, Finley has always been the Phantom, and the video you posted shows it.

I can't stop listening to the soundtrack, his song Faust is really amazing, even so many years later. Brian de Palma might be very sad right now, just like every fan of his movies and mainly Phantom of The Paradise.

Thanks Geoff for this little tribute ! 

Monday, April 16, 2012 - 4:33 PM CDT

Name: "Adam Zanzie"
Home Page: http://www.iceboxmovies.blogspot.com

Terrible news. I have such a difficult time imagining De Palma's thrillers without Finley in them. RIP.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - 2:32 PM CDT

Name: "Alin"
Home Page: http://aldmovieland.blogspot.com

Hello there Geoff.

long time...

I found out from your site about the passing of Bill Finley and was deeply saddened Frown. I posted about it on my blog 9well, in Romanian...


just now, listening on the soundtrack to The Phantom of Paradise, wanted to pay my respects.

best regards,


Friday, May 11, 2012 - 2:13 AM CDT

Name: "Joanna Leigh"
Home Page: http://www.mywritersworkshop.proboards.com

   Hi Doug! As I write this I'm listening to Goodbye Eddie Goodbye. Both Gloria and Mike used the beginning of this song as a tribute, which is ironically hilarious, considering WINSLOW's opinion of those...greaseballs and the fact that William was two-thirds responsible for the group's existence.

   I'm glad William and Gerrit took the risk and found out, (Much to their relief, I'm sure Cool) that it wasn't in a basement but among friends who were glad to be able to say THANK YOU for 'Winslow's (and Phantom's...) inspirational impact!  That opportunity means more now. 




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