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Eli Wallach

Eli WallachBorn: 7-Dec-1915
Birthplace: Brooklyn, NY
Died: 24-Jun-2014
Location of death: Manhattan, NY
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Religion: Jewish
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Actor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: The Magnificent Seven

Military service: US Army (1940-45, Captain)

At his death in 2014, Eli Wallach was among the oldest old-time Hollywood actors who were still working. He played Tuco ("the ugly") in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly with Clint Eastwood, the train robber in the all-star How the West was Won, the leader of the bandits in The Magnificent Seven with Yul Brynner and (ambiguous link, Steve McQueen), and a heartbroken mechanic in The Misfits with Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe. He played Don Altobello, the cunning competitor to the Corleone family in The Godfather: Part III, and he was the blind hitman in Tough Guys with Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster. His first film, which Wallach considered his best, was Elia Kazan's Baby Doll with Karl Malden and Carroll Baker.

Wallach grew up poor and Jewish in an Italian neighborhood of Brooklyn. Appearing in a school play at 15, he knew he would be an actor. After college and Army duty, he was one of the early practitioners of method acting, studying at the Actors Studio with Marlon Brando, Patricia Neal, Montgomery Clift, and Kevin McCarthy. As a young, struggling actor, when he got a role in a road show, he sublet his apartment to Brando, who, Wallach complained years later, was often late with the rent.

He made his Broadway debut in Skydrift in 1945, opposite Rita Moreno, also making her first New York appearance. The play bombed and closed within a week. Wallach won a Tony for The Rose Tattoo in 1951 with Maureen Stapleton, and an Obie Award in 1963 for The Typists and the The Tiger, costarring his wife. He won an Emmy for the UN-funded anti-drug film The Poppy Is Also a Flower in 1967.

Wallach was known as a Hollywood actor, but he always lived in New York. He married Anne Jackson, an actress he met in those drama workshops, and they worked together in numerous plays and films. Wallach said that he and his wife were lucky to find scripts where their characters argued, as it kept their marriage healthy. They remained married for life, and Wallach was never arrested, never scandalized.

He was paid $350 to play Mr Freeze on TV's Batman, and was astounded when he read that Arnold Schwarzenegger was paid $20 million to play the same character in the disastrous Batman & Robin. After Wallach grumbled about the injustice of it all, his wife offered sound advice: "Lift weights". After Wallach told that story on a few talk shows in 2005, promoting his autobiography, The Good, the Bad, and Me, he received an unexpected package from Gov. Schwarzenegger -- a small set of ten-pound barbells.

Father: Abraham Wallach
Mother: Bertha Schorr
Wife: Anne Jackson (actress, m. 5-Mar-1948, one son, two daughters)
Son: Peter D. Wallach (movie industry, b. 20-Feb-1951)
Daughter: Roberta L. Wallach (actress, b. 2-Aug-1955)
Daughter: Katherine B. Wallach (actress, b. 13-Jul-1958)

    High School: Erasmus Hall High School, Brooklyn, NY (1932)
    University: BA, University of Texas at Austin (1936)
    University: MS Education, City College of New York (1938)

    Tony 1951
    Emmy 1966
    Oscar (honorary) 2010, for lifetime achievement
    Al Franken for Senate
    Polish Ancestry
    Jewish Ancestry
    Risk Factors: Marijuana

    The Education of Max Bickford Jay Bickford (2002)
    Our Family Honor Vincent Danzig (1985-86)

    Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (14-May-2010) · Julie Steinhardt
    The Ghost Writer (12-Feb-2010) · Old Man
    Tickling Leo (25-Jul-2009)
    New York, I Love You (5-Feb-2009) · Abe
    Mama's Boy (30-Nov-2007)
    Constantine's Sword (24-Jun-2007) [VOICE]
    The Holiday (5-Dec-2006)
    The Hoax (15-Oct-2006)
    Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson (4-Sep-2004) [VOICE]
    King of the Corner (2004) · Sol Spivak
    Broadway: The Golden Age (Apr-2003) · Himself
    Monday Night Mayhem (14-Jan-2002)
    The Bookfair Murders (9-Apr-2000)
    Keeping the Faith (5-Apr-2000)
    Uninvited (26-Nov-1999)
    The Associate (25-Oct-1996) · Fallon
    Two Much (15-Mar-1996)
    Baseball (18-Sep-1994) · Himself
    Night and the City (16-Oct-1992)
    Mistress (29-Apr-1992) · George Lieberhoff
    Article 99 (13-Mar-1992) · Sam Abrams
    The Godfather: Part III (25-Dec-1990)
    The Two Jakes (10-Aug-1990) · Cotton Weinberger
    Nuts (20-Nov-1987) · Dr. Herbert A. Morrison
    Tough Guys (3-Oct-1986)
    Christopher Columbus (7-Mar-1985)
    Sam's Son (17-Aug-1984)
    The Executioner's Song (10-Sep-1982)
    Skokie (17-Nov-1981)
    The Pride of Jesse Hallam (3-Mar-1981)
    The Salamander (1981)
    The Hunter (1-Aug-1980)
    Winter Kills (11-May-1979)
    Firepower (27-Apr-1979)
    Circle of Iron (14-Dec-1978)
    Movie Movie (Nov-1978)
    Girlfriends (Aug-1978)
    Nasty Habits (10-Oct-1977)
    The Domino Principle (25-Jul-1977)
    The Deep (17-Jun-1977) · Adam Coffin
    The Sentinel (7-Jan-1977) · Det. Gatz
    Cinderella Liberty (7-Apr-1974)
    Crazy Joe (15-Feb-1974)
    Don't Turn the Other Cheek (22-Dec-1971)
    Romance of a Horsethief (1971)
    The People Next Door (26-Aug-1970)
    The Angel Levine (28-Jul-1970) · Delicatessen Clerk
    The Adventures of Gerard (Jan-1970) · Napoleon
    Zigzag (1970) · Mario Gambretti
    Mackenna's Gold (18-Mar-1969) · Ben Baker
    The Brain (7-Mar-1969)
    Ace High (31-Oct-1968)
    A Lovely Way to Die (6-May-1968)
    How to Save a Marriage and Ruin Your Life (17-Jan-1968)
    The Tiger Makes Out (18-Aug-1967)
    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (23-Dec-1966) · Tuco -- The Ugly
    How to Steal a Million (13-Jul-1966) · Davis Leland
    The Poppy Is Also a Flower (22-Apr-1966)
    Genghis Khan (15-Apr-1965)
    Lord Jim (25-Feb-1965) · The General
    Kisses for My President (21-Aug-1964) · Valdez
    The Moon-Spinners (2-Jul-1964)
    Act One (26-Dec-1963) · Warren Stone
    The Victors (22-Nov-1963)
    How the West Was Won (1-Nov-1962) · Charlie Gant
    Adventures of a Young Man (18-Jul-1962)
    The Misfits (1-Feb-1961) · Guido
    The Magnificent Seven (23-Oct-1960) · Calvera
    Seven Thieves (11-Mar-1960) · Poncho
    The Lineup (11-Jun-1958)
    Baby Doll (18-Dec-1956) · Silva Vacarro

Author of books:
The Good, The Bad, And Me: In My Anecdotage (2005, memoir)

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