Hollywood actor and Broadway thespian Eli Herschel Wallach died at the age of 98 in New York on Tuesday, June 24, 2014. Wallach died due to natural causes at his family’s home in New York City. Wallach is survived by his wife and fellow stage actor Anna Jackson, their three children and several grandchildren. Read on for MNG’s report about “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Star” and his unfortunate death.
Wallach’s daughter, Katherine, confirmed the news about the actor’s death via an interview with New York Times. Wallach was known as a multifaceted actor for his several works in film, television and Broadway which has spanned almost six decades in the entertainment industry. In 2010, Wallach was 95 years old when he was given recognition for his contribution with an Honorary Academy Award at the Governor’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Eli Herschel Wallach was born on December 7, 1915 in Brooklyn, New York. Wallach is the son of Jewish immigrants from Poland, who lived in an Italian-American neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. Wallach went on to study history at the University of Texas and obtain a master of arts degree in education at the City College of New York. Later on, Wallach attended the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre, also in New York, before enlisting himself as a medical officer in the military during the World War II.
Wallach followed his pursuit of acting by taking a class under German director Erwin Piscator in New York City. It is where he met his future wife, Anna Jackson. They also got the chance to build a strong friendship with budding actress Marilyn Monroe. Wallach’s Broadway debut in the Tennessee Williams’ “The Rose Tattoo” in 1945 gave him his first Tony Award.
After having a blooming theatre career, Wallach successfully transitioned to star in both film and television. “Baby Doll” earned him a BAFTA award for Best Newcomer, so it’s not surprising that his jump to film also gave him recognitions for his roles. Although, it was not usually for lead starring roles. Wallach most well-known film roles were in two spaghetti westerns: his portrayal as “Tuco” in “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” alongside Clint Eastwood and as Calvera in “The Magnificent Seven.” Wallach also got roles in several television series including his memorable role as Mr. Freeze in the 1967 television version of the “Batman.”
WATCH the video of Eli Wallach in his role as “Tuco” in the “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.”
Wallach’s recent film and TV credits include “The Holiday” in 2006, an episode of “Nurse Jackie” in 2009 and “The Ghost Writer” in 2010. His role as Julius Steinhardt in the 2010 film “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” with Michael Douglas and Shia Labeouf marked his retirement from acting.
According to Deadline, the Broadway Theater District will pay homage to the passing of Wallach by dimming the lights for one minute at 7:45 p.m. Meanwhile, Turner Classic Movies will also kick off a tribute marathon with five of his most notable films starting on Monday, June 30, 2014.
It is indeed a sad moment for everyone in the entertainment industry to lose such a multifaceted and talented actor, but his 60 years in the limelight was truly not wasted. May you rest in peace, Eli Wallach.
WATCH the video of Eli Wallach’s acceptance speech at the 2010 Governors Awards below: