Legendary character actor Eli Wallach dies at 98

Eli Wallach

Eli Wallach, one of the most enduring character actors in cinema history, has died. He was 98 years old.

Wallach’s death was confirmed by his daughter Katherine, though no other details were made available.

His career began on the stage, where he won a Tony Award for Tennessee Williams’ The Rose Tattoo in 1951. Wallach’s screen debut came five years later in Baby Doll, which would be followed by parts in The Magnificent Seven, The Misfits, and How to Steal a Million, to name just a few.

His most famous role is likely that of Tuco, the ‘ugly’ of Sergio Leone’s iconic spaghetti Western The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. That said, the actor once remarked he received the most fan mail for his role as Mr. Freeze in the Batman television series.

Wallach continued working late into his life, appearing most recently in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and The Ghost Writer.

Though never nominated for an Academy Award, he was handed an honourary Oscar in 2010, the Academy trumpeting him as “the quintessential chameleon, effortlessly inhabiting a wide range of characters, while putting his inimitable stamp on every role.” He also had a BAFTA and an Emmy sitting alongside his Tony.

Wallach is survived by his wife of 66 years, Anne Jackson, and their children Peter, Roberta and Katherine.

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