'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly' Legend Eli Wallach Has Died at 98
Hollywood has lost another legend after being graced with a 60-year career and nearly 100 years on this Earth as The New York Times reports legendary actor Eli Wallach, star of the classic spaghetti western The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, has passed away at 98. After a stint in the army during WWII, serving five years in the Medical Corps and rising to captain, Wallach returned home to become a founding member of the Actors Studio and studied method acting with Lee Strasberg. That led to a Broadway debut in 1951, and stage time with wife Anne Jackson in plays like The Typists, The Tiger and The Diary of Anne Frank.
Wallach found plenty of acclaim on the stage with a role in Tennessee Williams’s The Rose Tattoo, for which he won a Tony Award. After that, Williams gave Wallach his first film role in Baby Doll, an adaptation of his own play 27 Wagons Full of Cotton, but he still stayed active on stage. In fact, there are dozens of plays that saw Wallach take the stage, but many audiences came to know him for his turns on the big screen, including a memorable role in the classic western The Magnificent Seven and a part as Clark Gable's sidekick in The Misfits alongside Marilyn Monroe.
Other film roles included Lord Jim, Mackenna's Gold, How to Steal a Million, Nuts, Crazy Joe, How the West Was Won and The Godfather Part III. But Wallach also left an impression on the small screen with TV movies like Skokie and Executioner's Song with Tommy Lee Jones. In addition, he made several appearances on TV series like "Kojak," "Murder, She Wrote," "LA Law," "Alfred Hitchock Presents," "Law & Order" and "ER." Wallach even ventured into comic book territory playing Mr. Freeze a couple times on the 1960s "Batman" series with Adam West.
Wallach kept on acting into the 2000s with more recent roles appearing in Mystic River, The Hoax, The Holiday, New York I Love You, The Ghost Writer and his last on-screen role in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, where he delivered a short but memorable performance. Despite a long career, Wallach never landed a nomination for an Academy Award, but in 2010, he was given an honorary Oscar where he was deemed, "the quintessential chameleon, effortlessly inhabiting a wide range of characters, while putting his inimitable stamp on every role.” Wallach's legacy will last far beyond his lifetime with a career that spans longer than some people's lives, but he will be missed. Rest in peace.