Peter Finch (28 September 1916 – 14 January 1977) was a British-born Australian actor. He is best remembered for his role as 'crazed' television anchorman Howard Beale in the film Network, which earned him a posthumous Academy Award for Best Actor, his fifth Best Actor award from the BAFTA, and a Best Actor award from the Golden Globes. He was the first of two people to win a posthumous Academy Award in an acting category; the other was fellow Australian Heath Ledger.
Finch was born as Frederick George Peter Ingle Finch in London to parents George Finch and Alicia Gladys Fisher, who divorced when he was two years old. George Finch was born in New South Wales, Australia, but was educated in Paris and Zurich. He was a research chemist when he moved to England in 1912 and later served during the first World War with the Royal Army Ordnance Depot and the Royal Field Artillery. In 1915 at Portsmouth in Hampshire George married Alicia Fisher, the daughter of a Kent barrister. However, George Finch was not Peter Finch's biological father. He learned only in his mid-40s that his biological father was Wentworth Edward Dallas "Jock" Campbell, an Indian Army officer, whose adultery with Finch's mother was the cause of his parents' divorce. George gained custody of Peter and he was taken from his mother and raised by his "grandmother" Laura Finch (formerly Black) in France and India, before being sent to Australia in 1926 where he lived with his great uncle Edward Herbert Finch at Greenwich Point in Sydney. Alicia Finch married Peter's father "Jock" Campbell in 1922.
Peter Finch was educated at French primary schools until the age of ten, and then at North Sydney Inter High School in the city of Sydney in Australia.