'Good, Bad, Ugly' Character Actor Eli Wallach Dies

The star of stage and screen was 98 years old.
Posted at 9:20 AM, Jun 25, 2014

Eli Wallach lit up the screen in movies like "The Magnificent Seven" and the "Godfather" series over a long career. Tuesday, he died at age 98. (Via Flickr / Buick Regal)


The New York Times reports his daughter, Katherine, confirmed his death. The paper calls Wallach, "​ ... one of his generation’s most prominent and prolific character actors." 

And indeed, Wallach often played villains — famously, a bandit in "The Magnificent Seven." (Via United Artists / 'The Magnificent Seven' ) 

"Sumo, I don't think you solve my problem!"

He often stood right next to the A-listers of the time, playing Clark Gable's sidekick in 1961's "The Misfits," which also featured Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift. (Via United Artists / 'The Misfits'

But the actor was a star of the stage as well, and said he would sometimes take on movies just so he had the cushion money to appear in less-profitable plays. He won a Tony for Tennessee Williams' "The Rose Tattoo."

​Wallach was also given an honorary Oscar for his life's work in 2010. 

"Your recognition of my artistry makes something very dear to me. I don't act to live, I live to act." (Via Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)

As The Hollywood Reporternotes ​Wallach grew up in Brooklyn. He studied method acting in New York, and also served in World War II.

Wallach is survived by his wife, Anne Jackson, also an actress. They often worked together, and had been married for more than 60 years at the time of his death. (Via Flickr / Greg Hernandez)

The couple had three children. When Wallach received his honorary Oscar, he told the crowd he was an actor, but lived for his family. His last big-screen role was "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" in 2010.