Eli Wallach passes away at 98

The character actor from Brooklyn was at his best playing banditos in that Clint Eastwood classic as well as in "The Magnificent Seven," just two highlights of his six-decade-plus career.



Eli Wallach, the enduring and artful character actor who starred as weaselly Mexican hombres in the 1960s film classics The Magnificent Seven and The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, has died. He was 98.

Wallach, who won a Tony Award in 1951 for playing Alvaro in Tennessee Williams’ original production of The Rose Tattoo, made his movie debut as a cotton-gin owner trying to seduce a virgin in Elia Kazan’s Baby Doll (1956) and worked steadily well into his nineties, died Tuesday, his daughter Katherine told The New York Times.
No other details of his death were immediately available.

“As an actor I’ve played more bandits, thieves, warlords, molesters and mafioso that you could shake a stick at,” Wallach said in November 2010 when he accepted an Honorary Academy Award at the second annual Governors Awards to become the oldest Oscar recipient.
Among his survivors is actress Anne Jackson, his wife of 66 years.

The good-natured actor appeared in more than 90 films, including two released in 2010: Oilver Stone’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer.
On television, Wallach won an Emmy for his role as a former drug merchant who is now in the aspirin business in ABC’s Poppies Are Also Flowers, a 1966 anti-narcotics telefilm produced by the United Nations from a story by Ian Fleming. He also earned noms for his work as a blacklisted writer on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip in 2006 and as an ailing patient on Nurse Jackie three years later.
Plus, he got loads of fan mail for playing Mr. Freeze (the third actor to do so) on TV’s Batman in the 1960s.

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