" />
Monday October 5th, 2015 12:04AM
9:45PM ( 2 hours ago ) News Alert

Eli Wallach, veteran character actor, dies at 98

By The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) -- Eli Wallach, the raspy-voiced character actor who starred in dozens of movies and Broadway plays over a remarkable and enduring career and earned film immortality as a conniving, quick-on-the-draw bandit in the classic Western "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," has died. He was 98.<br /> <br /> The actor's son, Peter Wallach, confirmed Wednesday that his father passed away Tuesday evening in New York from natural causes.<br /> <br /> "The best way to honor him is to put on one of his movies," he said. "Put on `Baby Doll' or `Magnificent Seven.' Those live forever."<br /> <br /> Wallach and his wife, Anne Jackson, were a formidable duo on the stage, appearing in several plays dating back to the 1940s. He won a Tony Award for his supporting role in Tennessee Williams' "The Rose Tattoo" in 1951, was an original member of the Actors Studio, and was still starring in films well into his 90s.<br /> <br /> But Wallach may be best remembered for his role as Tuco in "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." In the Sergio Leone spaghetti Western, Clint Eastwood (The Good), Lee Van Cleef (The Bad) and Wallach (The Ugly) attempt to outwit and out shoot each other in pursuit of a trove of gold coins buried in a Civil War cemetery.<br /> <br /> Wallach played a menacing, yet lovable, outlaw who had committed every crime in the book: "murder, armed robbery ... inciting prostitution, kidnapping, extortion ... rape" as the executioner intoned in one famous scene before Tuco escaped a hanging.<br /> <br /> The movie - with a haunting score by Ennio Morricone - was the third film in a trilogy that included "Fistful of Dollars" and "For a Few Dollars More," and influenced a generation of filmmakers. Wallach's character had several memorable lines, including, "When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk," after being confronted by a rival gunslinger.<br /> <br /> "Everywhere I go, someone will recognize me from `The Good, the Bad and the Ugly' and start whistling the theme song," he said in a 2003 interview. "I can feel when it's going to happen. I smile and wave, and they wave back."<br /> <br /> Wallach also starred in the steamy "Baby Doll" (1956), "The Magnificent Seven" (1960), "The Misfits" (1961), an Arthur Miller-written film that starred Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable, "Lord Jim" (1964) with Peter O'Toole and "The Godfather III" (1990), in which he played a murderous mobster who dies after eating poisoned cannoli.<br /> <br /> He and Jackson starred in a series of plays, including George Bernard Shaw's "Major Barbara" in 1956 and a hugely successful run of "Luv" in the mid-1960s. A critic once hailed them as "the proletarian Lunts," a reference to Alfred Lunt and his wife, Lynn Fontanne, who at the time were the most famous couple in the American theater.<br /> <br /> "Although I limp in life as a result of my two hip operations, whenever I go onstage with Anne, the lights give my body a lift and I prance onto the stage and dance off," Wallach said in "The Good, the Bad, and Me," his 2003 memoir. "I feel I can play a 16-year-old if the author calls for that. Which is why I prefer live acting to film - I come alive with the lights."<br /> <br /> Wallach was born in Brooklyn on Dec. 7, 1915, the son of an immigrant candy store owner. He dabbled in dramatics in high school, while becoming a table-tennis champion.<br /> <br /> His brother and two sisters had become teachers, and other family members were doctors and lawyers. Wallach, who had appeared in plays as far back as grade school, elected to study acting.<br /> <br /> Acting definitely did not run in his family, Wallach once said, "Being an actor to them is like joining the Foreign Legion."<br /> <br /> His drama training was interrupted by World War II service in the Army medical corps, in which he earned the rank of captain. From 1945 to 1948, he appeared in several Broadway plays but had to work as a swimming instructor and camp counselor to make ends meet.<br /> <br /> His stage career eventually took off, thanks in large part to his success in Tennessee Williams productions. He appeared in "The Rose Tattoo," then "Camino Real" and later had a long run in "Teahouse of the August Moon."<br /> <br /> His debut film, directed by Elia Kazan, was "Baby Doll," based on the Williams' play. It was condemned by the Catholic Legion of Decency for what was termed its "carnal suggestiveness."<br /> <br /> He became a charter member of the Actors Studio, along with up-and-coming performers such as Marlon Brando, Karl Malden and Jackson. He was one of the nation's early students of Method acting, where actors draw upon their own memories and emotions to replicate the emotional conditions under which the character operates.<br /> <br /> After "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," his relationship with Leone soured. Leone had promised him a role in the Western "Duck, You Sucker," but the studio wanted Rod Steiger. Wallach had already canceled another project to take on the role in "Duck, You Sucker," and was angered by losing the part.<br /> <br /> Wallach did not slow down in his later years. He played a store owner in 2003's "Mystic River," directed by Eastwood, and had a part in the romantic comedy "The Holiday" in 2006. In 2010, he was featured as an old financial hand in Oliver Stone's "Money Never Sleeps," the sequel to "Wall Street."<br /> <br /> Wallach met Jackson while they were appearing off-Broadway in Williams' "This Property Is Condemned." They married in 1948 and had three children, Peter, who became a film animator, and two daughters, Roberta and Katherine, both of whom followed their parents into acting.<br /> <br /> ---<br /> <br /> Associated Press writer Josh Hoffner and National Writer Hillel Italie contributed to this report<br />
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 9 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 9 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 9 months ago )
U.S. News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 9 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 9 months ago )
Local/State News
UN is next stop for Obama after success with Iran, pope; top issues are IS, Syria, Russia
NEW YORK (AP) — Fresh from successes on Iran and with the pope, President Barack Obama still carried heavy burdens into critical meetings this week at the U.N. General Assembly.They include the threat...
3:31PM ( 1 week ago )
Stunning Congress, House Speaker Boehner announces plans to resign; tea party declares victory
WASHINGTON (AP) — Plunging Congress into deeper turmoil, House Speaker John Boehner abruptly announced his resignation Friday, shutting down a tea party drive to depose the nation's highest-ranking Re...
6:14PM ( 1 week ago )
Tornado heavily damages 10 homes but causes no injuries on island in South Carolina
JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — A tornado quickly blew through a neighborhood on the South Carolina coast early Friday and blew out windows, knocked down trees and heavily damaged ten homes.The tornado touc...
5:08PM ( 1 week ago )
Caterpillar says it may cut more than 10,000 jobs by 2018, lowers 2015 revenue expectation
Caterpillar is planning another round of job cuts that could exceed 10,000 people through 2018, as the construction and mining equipment maker adjusts to downturns in key markets.That could amount to...
10:06AM ( 1 week ago )
Escaped tarantula grounds Atlanta-bound flight in Baltimore
An eight-legged creature that escaped in the cargo hold of a passenger flight from Baltimore-Washington International Airport to Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International grounded the plane and sent passengers onto another flight.
By The Associated Press
9:06AM ( 1 week ago )