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FUE THREAT AND THE!

PROMISE

By GEORGE H. JOHNSTON

i PETER FINCH has come to a point \ of crucial decision in his theatre and \ film career. He has "arrived" as a star, I and noiv two roads lie open to him.

George H. Johnston, in this ac 1 count of Finch's present manner of life,

I «i home and at work, tells of the de-

cision he believes the actor lias made . .

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WE Finches live to

5J- day in a flat on the 'ninth floor of Dolphin Square, the biggest apart i pient block in Europe, Uheir windows overlooking ¡jhat wide and fascinating [leach of the Thames near ¡Battersea which excited

¡¡Turner and Whistler and

I host of later and lesser

fy.

I The flat itself is colourful |and comfortable almost to the point of untidiness, the ||ort of flat that is always ^escribed as "lived in" and |îs never photographed for tflie glossy magazines as an

^lustration of the domestic |ackground of a well-known

ffllm star. What character it las is elusive.

1 There are many books, mostly dealing with the Aus- traliana which is Finch's lobby, and the furniture is almost entirely secondhand

Ij-the booty of innumerable

iplundering forays on the tocal junk shops, re-uphols

jfered skilfully by Tamara.

$urled on the floor with scis-

sors and tack-hammer while

fier husband drinks wine and

talks.

^ Her own background is re- called by a portrait of her ielf in ballet costume, and ¡I couple of William Con- gabie originals. There are odd pieces of excellent ¿lass and pottery, a bronze buddha to remind Finch ¡>f his childhood back-

ground in Madras. There

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are two framed paintings of the Thames Embank

ment by Colin Colahan, the Australian painter who lives just down 'the street in Whistler's old house, and one framed watercolour of a Spanish town, painted by Finch himself. It is not easy to tell the professional paint- ing from the amateur, for Peter Finch is a tireless stu- dent who has brought his painting very close to exhibi- tion standard.

The rest is confusion-a sofa piled with books and toys and papers and scripts waiting to be read; an un- tidy stack of unframed drawings and watercolours, ash-trays, wine bottles and guests spread around the carpet.

Friends are welcome and it is a friendly flat, but no- body is ever invited there just

The Success Story Of Peter Finch END OF SERIES

because he is a "good con- tact" or might prove "valu-

able."

Peter Finch basks and thrives in this atmosphere of easy-going companionship, and because he enjoys it so much his wife-who would undoubtedly prefer a little more peace and quiet-tol- erates it without too much complaint.

GLAMOUR MAN? Finch got a light from Rosemary Clooney on the set of the Hollywood

Technicolor musical "Red Garters."

The relationship between Peter Finch and his wife has always intrigued those who know them. Both are tem- peramental, yet their tem- peraments are diametrically opposed: Gentle - natured and inclined to dark Slav- onic melancholia, simple but inflexible in her emotions. Tamara Finch has known a good deal of suffering in the past and is obsessed with the wish that there shall be no more suffering in the

future.

Around her patient, quiet solidity, Peter Finch darts and flickers like an exuber- ant bluebottle. Reckless, fearless, he retains all the swaggering, brash insouci- ance of the strolling player. Fame and success,have not had the slightest effect on his character: he is one of those rare creatures who could drop back into any point of his past life and be completely at home. He is no more conceited, nor affected, than when he spruiked a hoop-la stall at Sydney's Easter Show or swagged his way around the Queensland canefields. Nor, it must be admitted, is he very much more stable!

When he has a job to do he works with tremendous and exhausting self-disci- pline and with complete and almost ascetic dedication to his art; when it is over he is Peter Pan. Boyish, im- pulsive, .quivering with in- satiable curiosity about people and places and things, he reacts like a shearer down on the town to spend his pay cheque.

In this relationship it is Tamara who is the steady, stabilising force: the woman who saved up the money to get him to London still rep- resents the element of cau- tion and foresight, the rail of progress in his career.

The last few months have been very important for the Finches, for the last few months have contained both a threat and a promise.

Digitisation generously supported by
Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
Digitisation generously supported by

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