Wednesday, June 25, 2014

RIP Eli Wallach

Eli Wallach, legendary American character actor best known for his supporting roles in the Western classics "The Magnificent Seven" and "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly," died Tuesday in New York City, at the age of 98.

Born Eli Herschel Wallach on December 7, 1915 in Brooklyn, New York. Wallach attended college at the University of Texas and earned a master's degree in education at City College of New York. He served as an Army medic in World War II and made his debut on Broadway in 1945.
Wallach won a Tony Award in 1951 for his performance as Alvaro in Tennessee Williams's "The Rose Tattoo," and made his film debut five years later in the Elia Kazan-directed "Baby Doll."
But his two most memorable roles were those of Mexican bandits. In 1960's "The Magnificent Seven," Wallach played Calvera, who regularly raids a Mexican village for food until its inhabitants are forced to turn to the eponymous characters for protection. In 1966, Wallach played Tuco opposite Clint Eastwood in "The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly." Eli went on to appear in three more Euro-westerns: "Ace High" (1968) as Cacopoulos, "Long Live Your Death" (1971) as Max Lozoya and "The White, the Yellow and the Black" (1975) as Sheriff Edward 'Black Jack' Gideon)

Wallach is survived by his wife of 66 years, actress Anne Jackson, their three children, and grandnephew A.O. Scott, a New York Times film critic.

At Home With Eli Wallach:


  1. Biltmore: What a sad day this has become! Ten years ago I wrote to him and got a signed photo and a note thanking me for remembering him. He will be remembered.

  2. When Eric Mache, from Wild East, interviewed Eli for WAI! fanzine I sent Mr. Wallach a copy of the completed issue and an extra cover to sign. He mailed it back autographed with a nice note and some small photos of different head shots of him during wardobe selections telling me the same thing, Thanks for Remembering Me. Who will ever forget Eli Wallach. They broke the mold when he was born.

  3. I almost had a chance to meet Mr. Wallach in Toronto. he was scheduled to appear at a noon hour TV show on the CBC. Our party arrived and were seated in the restaurant then told the show had been cancelled due to a strike at the CBC. There never was a rescheduled show.

  4. And his Brazilian fans are sad as well:(
    The Ugly was a truly Gentleman, with a capital "G"!
    Shalom, Mr. Wallach, and say hello to Lee Van Cleef and Sergio Leone.
    Stephan Segantini

  5. Eli Wallach will be missed.