Eli Wallach, famous for his performances in “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” and “The Magnificent Seven”, has died at 98.
Wallach first began his career in the movie industry in 1956, 10 years after his 1 appearance on stage. He was well admired for his acting prowess, primarily because he was very versatile in his roles, as proven by the wide range of his career in a span of 60 years.
He portrayed the role of Calvera who was a bandit chief in “The Magnificent Seven”. In fact, his role in this classic movie is believed to be his definitive one. Because of his capability to absorb different roles of various characters, he was awarded an honorary Oscar during the 2011 Oscar Awards and was even described as a “quintessential chameleon.”
In his six decades of movie-making, he was never nominated for an Oscar. However, the Academy did reward him for “effortlessly inhabiting a wide range of characters, while putting his inimitable stamp on every role.”
Other movie classics that included Wallach were “The Misfits” and “How the West Was Won.”
Wallach was usually provided with roles of villains, since, being a fantastic actor that he was, he could portray them so well. He established a lasting impression as Tuco opposite Clint Eastwood in the 1966 spaghetti western, “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” by Sergio Leone. In fact, Wallach once shared that every single time strangers would see him off-screen, they would immediately recognize him for his role and that they would start whistling the movie’s distinctive theme tune.
A Hollywood reporter quoted Wallach, “As an actor, I’ve played more bandits, thieves, warlords, molesters, and Mafioso than you could shake a stick at.”
Wallach also played the role of Mr. Freeze in the 1960’s Batman TV series version. He continued to make movies into the 90s era, making his last big screen appearance in the 2010 flick “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.”