Eli Wallach, a Tony award-winning actor whose career on stage and in film spanned over six decades, has died. He was 98 years old.
Wallach was born to Jewish immigrant parents in Red Hook, Brooklyn, earning a college degree from the University of Texas, Austin and a masters in education from the City College of New York. He began appearing onstage at the age of 25, later training with the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York, studying method acting with Lee Strasberg and making his Broadway debut in 1945. Wallach carved a niche for himself with character work, and he and wife Anne Jackson performed together in a number of theater productions, including Waltz of the Toreadors in 1973 and a revival of The Diary of Anne Frank in 1978. Wallach won a Tony award in 1951 for his work in a production of Tennessee Williams’s The Rose Tattoo.
Wallach was also known for his work in films—he had character roles in a large number of Hollywood movies, including The Magnificent Seven, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and The Godfather: Part III. His most recent credits were 2010's Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer. Wallach won an honorary Oscar in 2010—he also won an Emmy Award for his work in the 1967 television movie, The Poppy is Also a Flower.
Wallach, who died yesterday, is survived by Jackson, along with their three children. His grandnephew is A.O. Scott, one of the New York Times's film critics.