Eli Wallach (1915 - 2014)

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Eli Wallach Famous Film and Broadway Star.
Born: December 7, 1915, Red Hook, New York City, NY
Died: June 24, 2014, Manhattan, New York City, NY
Born December 7, 1915 in Red Hook, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA
Died June 24, 2014 in Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA
Birth Name Eli Herschel Wallach
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)
One of Hollywood's finest character / "Method" actors, Eli Wallach was in demand for over 60 years (first film/TV role was 1949) on stage and screen, and has worked alongside the world's biggest stars, including Clark Gable, Clint Eastwood, Steve McQueen, Marilyn Monroe, Yul Brynner, Peter O'Toole, and Al Pacino, to name but a few.
Wallach was born on 7 December 1915 in Brooklyn, NY, to Jewish parents who emigrated from Poland, and was one of the few Jewish kids in his mostly Italian neighborhood. His parents, Bertha (Schorr) and Abraham Wallach, owned a candy store, Bertha's Candy Store. He went on to graduate with a B.A. from the University of Texas in Austin, but gained his dramatic training with the Actors Studio and the Neighborhood Playhouse. He made his debut on Broadway in 1945, and won a Tony Award in 1951 for portraying Alvaro Mangiacavallo in the Tennessee Williams play "The Rose Tattoo".
Wallach made a strong screen debut in 1956 in the film version of the Tennessee Williams play Baby Doll (1956), shined as "Dancer", the nattily dressed hit man, in director Don Siegel's film-noir classic The Lineup (1958), and co-starred in the heist film Seven Thieves (1960). Director John Sturges then cast Wallach as vicious Mexican bandit Calvera in The Magnificent Seven (1960), the western adaptation of the Akira Kurosawa epic Seven Samurai (1954). By all reports, Wallach could not ride a horse prior to making "TMS", but expert tutelage from the film's Mexican stunt riders made it look easy! He next appeared in the superb The Misfits (1961), in the star-spangled western opus How the West Was Won (1962), the underrated WW2 film The Victors (1963), as a kidnapper in The Moon-Spinners (1964), in the sea epic Lord Jim (1965) and in the romantic comedy How to Steal a Million (1966).
Looking for a third lead actor in the final episode of the "Dollars Trilogy", Italian director Sergio Leone cast the versatile Wallach as the lying, two-faced, money-hungry (but somehow lovable) bandit "Tuco" in the spectacular The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) (aka "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly"), arguably his most memorable performance. Wallach kept busy throughout the remainder of the '60s and into the '70s with good roles in Mackenna's Gold (1969), Cinderella Liberty (1973), Crazy Joe (1974), The Deep (1977) and as Steve McQueen's bail buddy in The Hunter (1980).

The 1980s was an interesting period for Wallach, as he was regularly cast as an aging doctor, a Mafia figure or an over-the-hill hitman, such as in The Executioner's Song (1982), Our Family Honor (1985), Tough Guys (1986), Nuts (1987), The Two Jakes (1990) and as the candy-addicted "Don Altabello" in The Godfather: Part III (1990). At 75+ years of age, Wallach's quality of work was still first class and into the 1990s and beyond, he has remained in demand. He lent fine support to Bride of Violence (1990), Teamster Boss: The Jackie Presser Story (1992), Naked City: Justice with a Bullet (1998) and Keeping the Faith (2000). Most recently Wallach showed up as a fast-talking liquor store owner in Mystic River (2003) and in the comedic drama King of the Corner (2004).

In early 2005, Eli Wallach released his much anticipated autobiography, "The Good, The Bad And Me: In My Anecdotage", an enjoyable reading from one of the screen's most inventive and enduring actors.

Eli Wallach was very much a family man who remained married to his wife Anne Jackson for 66 years. When Wallach died at 98, in 2014, in Manhattan, NY, he was survived by his wife, three children, five grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: [contact link]

Spouse (1)
Anne Jackson (5 March 1948 - 24 June 2014) ( his death) ( 3 children)
Trade Mark (3)
Raspy gravelly voice
Delicate, dainty hand gestures when walking and running
Ability to convey subtle expression changes in a split second
Trivia (36)
Received his Bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1936.
Was almost killed during the train scene in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966). He was asked by Sergio Leone to do the scene again, and he then replied: "I'll never do that again!".
Turned down the role in From Here to Eternity (1953) that won Frank Sinatra an Oscar.
Is one of three actors to play the character of Mr. Freeze on Batman (1966) (The other two were George Sanders and Otto Preminger). He once said that he has received more fan mail for that role than for any other role he has ever done.
Father, with Anne Jackson, of son Peter Wallach, and daughters Katherine Wallach and Roberta Wallach.
Was named as "King of Brooklyn" at the Welcome Back to Brooklyn Festival in 1998. His wife Anne Jackson was named "Queen of Brooklyn" at the same festival.
Had appeared with Steve McQueen in both McQueen's first major successful film (The Magnificent Seven (1960)) and in his last film (The Hunter (1980).
One of his best known roles was the lead bandit Calvera in The Magnificent Seven (1960). Although his character was eventually defeated in the film, Wallach outlived six of the other seven stars, except Robert Vaughn who passed on November 11, 2016, despite the fact that he was older than all of them.
He, his wife Anne Jackson and their daughter, Roberta Wallach, all made guest appearances in different episodes of Law & Order (1990).
Had appeared with Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable and Steve McQueen in their final completed films: The Misfits (1961) (for both Monroe and Gable) and The Hunter (1980) respectively.
He had a brother and two sisters, all of whom became teachers.
He served for five years in the Army's Medical Administrative Corps during World War II, eventually attaining the rank of captain.
He had five grandchildren.
There was no official theater department at the University of Texas when he attended, so he joined a student organization called The Curtain Club to put on plays. One of the other students involved was future Governor of Texas John Connally.
In his later years, he was blind in the left eye due to a stroke.
While attending the University of Texas, he acted in many student plays. In one, he performed with fellow students Ann Sheridan and Walter Cronkite.
He had two hip replacements and had arthritis in his back.
One of his fellow students at Parsons New School for Social Research in New York was Marlon Brando.
Turned down the lead role of Harry Berlin in Luv (1967) that was eventually played by Jack Lemmon. He had originated the role of Harry's friend Milt Manville in 'Luv' on Broadway in 1965.
In an interview on "Fresh Air" (at station WHYY in Philadephia, Pennsylvania, broadcast nationally on National Public Radio), he explained to Terry Gross that he learned to ride horses at the University of Texas: He took care of the polo ponies. During the filming of the The Magnificent Seven (1960), each morning he would ride a few hours with his gang.
He was friends with Walter Cronkite for over 70 years since they were both students at the University of Texas at Austin. Wallach was acknowledged at the Walter Cronkite memorial tribute at Lincoln Center and was in the audience.
Had appeared with his wife Anne Jackson in six films: The Tiger Makes Out (1967), How to Save a Marriage and Ruin Your Life (1968), Zig Zag (1970), The Angel Levine (1970), Nasty Habits (1977) and Sam's Son (1984).
Was the reader of the audio-book of Stephen King's novel "Insomnia".
He died from natural causes at his home in Manhattan, New York City.
He grew up in the only Jewish family in an otherwise all-Italian neighborhood, and gained fame from starring in an Italian Western. Appropriately enough, the name "Wallach" derives from the same Old German root word for which the Polish name for Italy, Wlochy, comes from.
After failing the New York teachers' exam, Wallach got a scholarship to the Neighborhood Playhouse and spent two years there before graduating in 1940. Among his classmates were Gregory Peck, Lorne Greene, and Tony Randall.
Wallach played Sakini for a year in the London cast of "Teahouse of the August Moon." Among the aspiring young actors from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts who worked backstage with scenery were Alan Bates, Peter O'Toole, and Albert Finney. Wallach later succeeded David Wayne in the part in the Broadway production.
Served five years in the Army Medical Corps during World War II eventually reaching the rank of major.
Made his Broadway debut in the service-oriented drama "Skydrift" directed by Roy Hargrave, who had coincidently directed Anne Jackson, Wallach's future wife, in her Broadway debut in "Signature" a few months earlier.
"Time" magazine once referred to Eli Wallach and wife Anne Jackson as "the proletarian Lunts.".
Although he is best known for playing four Mexican characters in four different westerns, Wallach was actually a Polish Jew in real life and had no Hispanic ancestry.
According to his biography..He was a Brooklyn city youth who went to a farm during the summer. When asked if he could ride a horse, he had been riding for many years and would do his own stunts.
As a new officer in the Military, it was customary to pay his first saluting soldier a dollar. One of his fondest memories.
Was in three Oscar Best Picture nominees: How the West Was Won (1962), The Godfather: Part III (1990) and Mystic River (2003).
The February 6, 1985, issue of Variety announced the film "Ombre sul ponte" (English title "Shadow on the Bridge") would begin filming in March 1985, with director Ruggero Deodato, starring Franco Nero, Patrick Wayne, Lisa Blount, and Eli Wallach. No evidence the film was ever made or released.
He was a lifelong Democrat.

Eli Wallach Biography & Family History

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Eli Wallach was also known as:

Eli Herschel Wallach

Birth


Kings County, NY United States

Death


New York, New York County, NY United States

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Manhattan County, NY

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I'd come out of the Army after five years as a medic. I was a medical administrator and we ran hospitals, and I was a Captain in the Army at the end, in 1945.

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Timeline

1915 - In the year that Eli Wallach was born, the Germans first used poison gas as a weapon at the second Battle of Ypres during World War I. While noxious gases had been used since ancient times, this was the first use of poisonous gas - in this case, lethal chlorine gas - in modern war. Subsequently, the French and British - as well as the United States when they entered World War 1 - developed and used lethal gas in war.

1931 - At the age of 16 years old, Eli was alive when in March, “The Star Spangled Banner” officially became the national anthem by congressional resolution. Other songs had previously been used - among them, "My Country, 'Tis of Thee", "God Bless America", and "America the Beautiful". There was fierce debate about making "The Star Spangled Banner" the national anthem - Southerners and veterans organizations supported it, pacifists and educators opposed it.

1933 - At the age of 18 years old, Eli was alive when the day after being inaugurated, the new President, Franklin Roosevelt, declared a four-day bank holiday to stop people from withdrawing their money from shaky banks (the bank run). Within 5 days of his administration, the Emergency Banking Act was passed - reorganizing banks and closing insolvent ones. In his first 100 days, he asked Congress to repeal Prohibition (which they did), signed the Tennessee Valley Authority Act, signed legislation that paid commodity farmers to leave their fields fallow, thus ending surpluses and boosting prices, signed a bill that gave workers the right to unionize and bargain collectively for higher wages and better working conditions as well as suspending some antitrust laws and establishing a federally funded Public Works Administration, and won passage of 12 other major laws that helped the economy.

1979 - At the age of 64 years old, Eli was alive when on March 28th, a partial nuclear meltdown occurred at the power plant at Three Mile Island Pennsylvania. Radiation leaked into the environment, resulting in a rating of 5 on a scale of 7 ("Accident With Wider Consequences") . It ended up costing $1 billion to clean up the site.

1994 - At the age of 79 years old, Eli was alive when on May 6th, former political prisoner, lawyer, and activist Nelson Mandela was elected the first black President of South Africa. He was 75 when he was elected and he served one five-year term.

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Eli Wallach, Multifaceted Actor on Stage and Screen, Dies at 98
Eli Wallach, the prolific film, stage and television actor, died on Tuesday at 98. His career spanned more than 60 years.
By Robert Berkvist
June 25, 2014
Eli Wallach, who was one of his generation’s most prominent and prolific character actors in film, onstage and on television for more than 60 years, died on Tuesday at his home in Manhattan. He was 98.
His death was confirmed by his daughter Katherine.
A self-styled journeyman actor, the versatile Mr. Wallach appeared in scores of roles, often with his wife, Anne Jackson. No matter the part, he always seemed at ease and in control, whether playing a Mexican bandit in the 1960 western “The Magnificent Seven,” a bumbling clerk in Ionesco’s allegorical play “Rhinoceros,” a henpecked French general in Jean Anouilh’s “Waltz of the Toreadors,” Clark Gable’s sidekick in “The Misfits” or a Mafia don in “The Godfather: Part III.”
Despite his many years of film work, some of it critically acclaimed, Mr. Wallach was never nominated for an Academy Award. But in November 2010, less than a month before his 95th birthday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded him an honorary Oscar, saluting him as “the quintessential chameleon, effortlessly inhabiting a wide range of characters, while putting his inimitable stamp on every role.”
His first love was the stage. Mr. Wallach and Ms. Jackson became one of the best-known acting couples in the American theater. But films, even less than stellar ones, helped pay the bills. “For actors, movies are a means to an end,” Mr. Wallach said in an interview with The New York Times in 1973. “I go and get on a horse in Spain for 10 weeks, and I have enough cushion to come back and do a play.”
Mr. Wallach, who as a boy was one of the few Jewish children in his mostly Italian-American neighborhood in Brooklyn, made both his stage and screen breakthroughs playing Italians. In 1951, six years after his Broadway debut in a play called “Skydrift,” he was cast opposite Maureen Stapleton in Tennessee Williams’s “The Rose Tattoo,” playing Alvaro Mangiacavallo, a truck driver who woos and wins Serafina Delle Rose, a Sicilian widow living on the Gulf Coast. Both Ms. Stapleton and Mr. Wallach won Tony Awards for their work in the play.
The first movie in which Mr. Wallach acted was also written by Williams: “Baby Doll” (1956), the playwright’s screen adaptation of his “27 Wagons Full of Cotton.” Mr. Wallach played Silva Vacarro, a Sicilian émigré and the owner of a cotton gin that he believes has been torched. Karl Malden and Carroll Baker also starred.
Mr. Wallach never stayed away from the theater for long. After “The Rose Tattoo” he appeared in another Williams play, “Camino Real” (1953), wandering a fantasy world as a young man named Kilroy. He also played opposite Julie Harris in Anouilh’s “Mademoiselle Colombe” (1954), about a young woman who chooses a life in the theater over life with her dour husband, and in 1958 he appeared with Joan Plowright in “The Chairs,” Eugène Ionesco’s farcical portrait of an elderly couple’s garrulous farewell to life.
In another Ionesco allegory, a 1961 production of “Rhinoceros,” Mr. Wallach gave a low-key performance as a nondescript clerk in a city where people are being transformed into rhinoceroses. The cast also included Ms. Jackson and Zero Mostel.
By the time “Rhinoceros” came along, Ms. Jackson and Mr. Wallach had been married for 13 years. They met in 1946 in an Equity Library Theater production of Williams’s “This Property Is Condemned” and were married two years later.
In addition to his wife and his daughter Katherine, he is survived by another daughter, Roberta Wallach; a son, Peter; a sister, Shirley Auerbach; and three grandchildren.
Eli Wallach was born in Red Hook, Brooklyn, on Dec. 7, 1915, the son of Abraham Wallach, who owned a candy store in the neighborhood, and the former Bertha Schorr. He graduated from Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn and attended the University of Texas at Austin (“because the tuition was $30 a year,” he once said), where he also learned to ride horses — a skill he would put to good use in westerns. After graduation he returned to New York and earned a master’s degree in education at City College, with the intention of becoming a teacher like his brother and two sisters.
In 2010, A. O. Scott visited his uncle, who has acted in more than 90 movies, in his apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Instead, he studied acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse until World War II put him in the Army. He served five years in the Medical Corps, rising to captain. After the war he became a founding member of the Actors Studio and studied method acting with Lee Strasberg. Ahead lay his Broadway debut in “Skydrift,” which had a one-week run in 1945, and his fateful meeting with an actress named Anne Jackson.
The Wallachs went on to become stalwarts of the American stage, evoking memories of Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, thanks to their work in comedies like “The Typists” and “The Tiger,” a 1963 double bill by Murray Schisgal, and a revival of Anouilh’s “Waltz of the Toreadors” (1973).
In a joint interview in The Hartford Courant in 2000, Mr. Wallach and Ms. Jackson said they had sought out opportunities to work together. “But we’re not the couple we play onstage,” Ms. Jackson said. “For us, it’s fun to separate the two.”
The couple appeared in a revival of “The Diary of Anne Frank” in 1978, in a production that also featured their daughters Roberta as Anne Frank and Katherine as her onstage sister. In 1984, they presided over a chaotic Moscow household in a Russian comedy, Viktor Rozov’s “Nest of the Wood Grouse,” directed by Joseph Papp at the Public Theater. Four years later, they returned to the Public as a flamboyant acting couple in a revival of Hy Kraft’s “Cafe Crown,” a portrait of the Yiddish theater scene in its heyday.
In 1993, they presented a theatrical reminiscence, “In Persons.” The next year, they played a biblical husband and wife in a revival of Clifford Odets’s “Flowering Peach” by the National Actors Theater, and in 2000 they were a pair of retired comedians in Anne Meara’s Off Broadway play “Down the Garden Paths.”
In between appearances with Ms. Jackson, Mr. Wallach played, among other roles, an aging gay barber in Charles Dyer’s “Staircase” (1968), a political dissident consigned to an asylum in Tom Stoppard’s “Every Good Boy Deserves Favour” (1979), an aged but mentally spry furniture dealer in a 1992 revival of Arthur Miller’s play “The Price” and a Jewish widower in Jeff Baron’s “Visiting Mr. Green” (1997).
Mr. Wallach’s many television credits included a 1971 production of Odets’s “Paradise Lost” on public television; “Skokie,” a 1981 CBS movie about a march planned by neo-Nazis in a Chicago suburb, in which he played a lawyer representing Holocaust survivors; a 1982 NBC dramatization of Norman Mailer’s “Executioner’s Song,” in which he appeared with Tommy Lee Jones; and frequent roles on “Studio One,” “Playhouse 90” and “General Electric Theater.”
And then there were films, dozens of them. In addition to his parts in “Baby Doll” and “The Magnificent Seven,” he played the mechanic pal of Clark Gable’s aging cowboy in “The Misfits” (1961), the story of a wild-horse roundup in Nevada, written by Miller and directed by John Huston, with a cast that also included Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift.
Mr. Wallach was also a lawless jungle tyrant subdued by the title character (Peter O’Toole) in “Lord Jim” (1965); a rapacious Mexican pitted against Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef in Sergio Leone’s so-called spaghetti western “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (1966); a psychiatrist assigned to evaluate the sanity of a call girl (Barbra Streisand) on trial for killing a client in “Nuts” (1987); and Don Altobello, a Mafia boss who succumbs to a poisoned dessert, in “The Godfather: Part III” (1990).
He continued his film work well into his 90s. He was a disillusioned screenwriter in “The Holiday” (2006). In “Tickling Leo” (2009), he played the guilt-ridden patriarch of a Jewish family still haunted by the Holocaust. In Roman Polanski’s “The Ghost Writer” (2010), Mr. Wallach played a mysterious old man living on fog-shrouded Martha’s Vineyard. And in “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” (2010), which marked the return of Michael Douglas as the greed-stoked investor Gordon Gekko, Mr. Wallach hovered at the edge of the action like Poe’s sinister raven.
More often than not, his film roles required him to play mustachioed characters who were lawless, evil or just plain nasty, which puzzled and challenged him. “Actually I lead a dual life,” he once said. “In the theater, I’m the little man, or the irritated man, the misunderstood man,” whereas in films “I do seem to keep getting cast as the bad guys.” His villain roles, he said, tended to be “more complex” than some of his stage roles.
Even so, the theater remained his home base, and he said that he could never imagine leaving it. “What else am I going to do?” he asked in an interview with The Times in 1997. “I love to act.”
Emma G. Fitzsimmons contributed to this reporting.

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