Eli Wallach Dead At 98

Published on: June 25, 2014
Photography by: Getty
Eli Wallach Dead At 98

The legendary ELI WALLACH has saddled up for the great unknown at 98.

Eli Wallach, a veteran stage and screen star of classic westerns such as “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly,” and “The Magnificent Seven” died on Tuesday at the age of 98.

 His death was confirmed by his daughter, according to The New York Times.

Not only did Wallach conquer the screen he netted a a Tony Award in 1951 for his performance in Tennessee Williams’ classic “The Rose Tattoo.”

In the seminal Spaghettif western played scene stealing Tuco opposite Clint Eastwood & Lee Van Cleef  in the Italo oater “The Good The Bad and the Ugly,” and also starred with Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen in the John Sturges remake of Akira Kurosawa’s “the Seven Samurai” -- “The Magnificent Seven.”

 A versatile character who played mafia dons, cranky New Yorkers, crime lords and monied moguls, Eli said upon reciveing an honorary Oscar, As an actor, I’ve played more bandits, thieves, warlords, molesters and mafioso that you could shake a stick at.”

The Brooklyn native also was memorable as a well-dressed hitman looking to retrieve heroin stuffed in a Japanese doll in Don Siegel’s “ The Lineup “(1958);  in the first Cinerama feature "How the West Was Won" (1960), in the notorious "Baby Doll" opposite a thumb-sucking Carol Baker, as Guido in John Huston’s “The Misfits" opposite Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe; as Audrey Hepburn’s lover doll in “How to Steal a Million” (1966); as a harsh boot-camp instructor in “Cinderella Liberty”(1973); and as a mafioso with a sweet tooth in "The Godfather: Part III" (1990).

On TV, Wallach won an Emmy for his role as a reformed drug merchant in 1966 telefilm “The Poppy is Also a Flower” produced by the United Nations from a story by 007 mastermind 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 Showtime's “Nurse Jackie" in 2009.

Eli was still getting fan mail from around the world for playing the diabolical Mr. Freeze on “Batman” TV show during the 1960s following George Sanders and Otto Preminger as the icy baddie.

Among Eli's survivors is actress and frequent co-star Anne Jackson, his wife of 66 years.

Adios, amigo.