Thursday, 26 June 2014

Eli Wallach: 1915-2014

Eli Wallach, who appeared in over 150 films and TV shows, died on Tuesday. He was 98.
    He was born in Brooklyn, the son of Polish immigrants who ran the local sweet shop. One of the few Jewish children in his mostly Italian-American neighborhood, he made both his stage and screen breakthroughs playing Italians. He graduated from Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn and attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he learned to ride horses—a skill he would put to good use in westerns.
    Wallach attended the Actors Studio from its inception; there, he studied acting with founding member Robert Lewis, alongside Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, Herbert Berghof, Sidney Lumet, and his soon-to-be wife, Anne Jackson.
    In 1953 he was supposed to play Angelo Maggio in the film From Here to Eternity, but was abruptly replaced by Frank Sinatra before filming began. Sinatra went on to win an Oscar for the performance, which revived his career. Sinatra purportedly used pressure from his underworld connections to get the part, an incident that inspired the Johnny Fontane character in the classic 1972 film The Godfather.
    Wallach continued to find meaty movie roles, almost through to the end of his life. In later years he could be found in the likes of The Godfather 3, Mystic River and The Ghost Writer. Despite his glittering film career, Eli was never nominated for an Academy Award. However, he was awarded an honorary Oscar in November 2010.


The Ghost Writer (2010)
The Holiday (2006)
The Godfather III (1990)
Two Jakes (1990)
Tough Guys (1986)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
How To Steal a Million (1966)
The Misfits (1961)
The Magnificent Seven (1960)

1 comment:

Kathy Smart said...

He looked so different in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly!