Fin was born James Finlayson on August 27th 1887 in Larbert, Stirlingshire, Scotland. Bald, with a fake moustache, Finlayson had many trademark comic mannerisms and is known for his squinting, outraged, "double take and fade away" head reaction, and characteristic expression "d'ooooooh", and as the best remembered comic foil of Laurel and Hardy.
he worked as a tinsmith before pursuing an acting career. In the mid-1920s, when he worked for the Hal Roach Studios, Roach attempted to make a top-billed star out of Finlayson, but the effort was unfocused and he never caught on. The next step came in 1927 when the All-Star Comedy series gave Finlayson equal billing with up-and-coming co-stars Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, comedian Edna Marion, and others; some studio publicity even referred to Finlayson, Hardy and Laurel as a "famous comedy trio". But Roach staff producer and future multi-Oscared director Leo McCarey recognized the great potential of a Laurel-and-Hardy pairing and began developing their characters and expanding their roles toward that end; by the autumn of 1928, Laurel and Hardy was a formal studio series with its own production prefixes while the All-Star Comedy series – and Finlayson's equal co-billing – were things of the past. Nonetheless, he was still "considered by many to be an indispensable part of the Laurel & Hardy team.