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Thursday, June 26, 2014 | return to: news & features, national


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Actor Eli Wallach dies at 98

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Eli Wallach, the raspy-voiced character actor best known for his role as Tuco, the conniving, quick-on-the-draw bandit in the classic Western “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” died on June 24. He was 98.

Wallach was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. on Dec. 7, 1915, the son of Polish Jewish immigrants in an Italian-dominated neighborhood. His father owned a candy store.

His debut film, directed by Elia Kazan, was 1956’s “Baby Doll,” based on the Tennessee Williams’ play.  Before that, he had a successful stage career.

Wallach 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. He starred in films well into his 80s and 90s, such as “Mystic River” in 2003 and “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” in 2010.

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 “The Rose Tattoo” in 1951.

Wallach met Jackson while they were appearing off-Broadway in Williams’ “This Property Is Condemned.” They married in 1948 and had three children. — ap


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