Magnificent Seven's Eli Wallach Dies at 98
Wallach leaves behind a wife, three children, five grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.
Eli Wallach, character actor famous for playing dozens of iconic Mafioso, hitmen, tough guys and villains, is dead, his family confirms. Wallach, born 1915 to Jewish immigrants from Poland, made his Broadway debut in 1945 and his film debut in Elia Kazan's 1956 film Baby Doll. He's has been working ever since on scores of movies, TV shorts and series. He was 98 when he passed.
He played the love rival in Baby Doll - his big film break came at 40, late for an actor - but soon gravitated to the roles we've come to know him for, playing a hitman in Don Siegel's film noir The Lineup and later the classic villain Calvera in The Magnificent Seven, his first Western, but thankfully not his last. It was the start of a long career of villainy for Wallach, who even played Mr Freeze once upon a time opposite Adam West's Batman. Wallach took the role because his kids loved the show, and he had a blast doing it. He once claimed he got more fan mail for that appearance than for anything else he ever did.
"I always end up being the evil one," he said, "And I wouldn't hurt a fly." His stage performances were more varied, but on film or TV he was the hate figure more often than not. There are two Western archetypes he's most famous for: Calvera, and the cunning Tuco of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Both are dyed-in-the-wool bad guys with no redeeming features, but each are also utterly compelling.
"Everyone thinks acting is easy," he said. "It's far from easy, but it's the most gratifying thing I do."
Wallach is survived by his wife Anne Jackson, who he met before the Second World War while still an actor in New York, and three children, as well as five grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
I'll always remember him for The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Absolutely amazing classic.
Rest in peace, Tuco. Wallach was absolutely amazing in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. He's one of the reasons it's among my very favourite western movies.
looks like its western night tonight...
Every gun makes it's own tune...
All the most interesting characters in movies are the bad guys. You sir were too talented to play a 2 demensional hero. Sleep well and thank you.
Aww, poor Wallach, of course I loved him in The Good The Bad and The Ugly, but I love how he says "Everyone thinks acting is easy", presumebly because he's been told that quite a lot, when he starred across from Clint Eastwood, a man described by the director as "a man with two expressions, one with the hat and one without." But of course he'll be remembered for years to come for his performances, because despite Eastwood getting away with it, acting is not easy :)
welp, time for a Western marathon this weekend. There goes Tuco, now leaving the Good (oddly appropriate) as the only member of the three alive.
Every time I read or hear something like this, it feels as if I'm watching my era slowly dissolve into mist and drift away on the breeze as the sun sets.
"You're the son of a thousand fathers, everyone of them a bastard like you!"
"One bastard goes in, another comes out!"
"Hey! Hey everybody look! He's giving him the filthy money! JUDAS! You sold my HIDE!"
Tuco : "See you soon, id... " "id... " "ids... ",
Blondie : "Idiots". It's for you.
I watched this film so many times and it really is timeless and thoroughly entertaining.
It seems he had a good innings though, 98 is pretty good age to reach.
There are two types of men in this world my friend. Eli was the good kind.
RIP, legend. I know Good, Bad, Ugly pretty much by heart, my all time favourite movie
Whoa, another reminder that legends come and go... Hope Eli lived a good life.
Dear gawd, the Ugly is dead? Geez, they're al dropping off. Thanks for your talent sir :(
I was always impressed by how Wallach kept working despite (or because?) of his advanced age. Mystic River, Ghost Writer, Wall Street 2... he never retired. Literally acted to the very end.