Jon Finch was a charismatic and versatile actor who starred in films by Roman Polanski and Alfred Hitchcock in the 1970s. He also turned down the role of James Bond, preferring to keep a low profile and avoid media attention. He died on December 28, 2012, at the age of 70, but the cause of his death remains unknown. In this article, we will explore his life, career, and the mystery surrounding his demise.
## Early Life and Career
Jon Finch was born on March 2, 1942, in Caterham, Surrey, the son of a merchant banker. He first started acting at school, later gaining experience in amateur theatre groups. After serving in a parachute regiment during his military service, he joined an SAS reserve regiment, but left it as his acting commitments became more demanding.
He began his professional career in television, appearing in shows like Crossroads, Z-Cars, and Counterstrike. His film debut was in two Hammer horror films, The Vampire Lovers and The Horror of Frankenstein, both released in 1970.
## Stardom and Decline
Finch’s breakthrough came when he was cast as the title role in Roman Polanski’s Macbeth (1971), a dark and violent adaptation of Shakespeare’s play. Finch and Francesca Annis, who played Lady Macbeth, were praised for their youthful and passionate performances.
The next year, Finch starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s Frenzy (1972), as a bitter ex-RAF hero who is wrongly accused of being a serial killer. Finch gave a subtle and nuanced performance, avoiding the temptation to be sympathetic.
Around the same time, Finch was offered the chance to replace Sean Connery as James Bond in Live and Let Die (1973), but he turned it down, saying he never wanted to be a big star. He also declined to appear in Star Wars (1977), which would have made him a household name.
Finch continued to work in films and television, but his career gradually declined in the 1980s and 1990s. He suffered from diabetes and depression, and became reclusive and withdrawn from the public eye. He also had a turbulent personal life, marrying and divorcing twice, and having a son with his second wife, actress Catriona MacColl.
## Death and Mystery
Finch died on December 28, 2012, in Hastings, East Sussex, where he lived alone. His body was discovered by the police after a concerned friend reported that he had not seen him for several days. The cause of his death was not disclosed, and no autopsy or inquest was held. According to Wikipedia, his death was due to natural causes, but other sources suggest that it was undetermined or unknown.
Some fans and admirers have speculated that Finch may have committed suicide, or died from complications of diabetes, or from a heart attack. However, there is no conclusive evidence to support any of these theories. Finch’s death remains a mystery, just like his life.
Jon Finch was a talented and charismatic actor who achieved fame and acclaim in the 1970s, but chose to avoid the spotlight and live a quiet and private life. He died in 2012, leaving behind a legacy of memorable performances and a mystery of his cause of death. He was a unique and enigmatic figure in the history of British cinema, and deserves to be remembered and celebrated.