Finch wins the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal of a disturbed news reporter in Sydney Lumet’s satirical drama Network. Finch’s character Howard Beale breaks down on national television exclaiming, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” Liv Ullmann presents the award and Paddy Chayefsky and Eletha Finch accept the award for the deceased Finch. Finch is the first actor to posthumously win an Academy Award for acting.
. . . . before he died he said to me, “Darling, if I win I want to say thanks to my fellow actors who have given me encouragement over the years; and thanks to Paddy Chayefsky who have given him the part; and thanks to Barry who have tell us to come from Jamaica, to come and do this part.” And he says, “Most of all, thanks to you, darling, for sending the right vibes the right way. And thanks, the members of the Academy Award.” Thank you all.