Actor Eli Wallach passed away yesterday at the age of 98.
Wallach’s career spanned more than six decades. He was among the first notable thespians to utilize Method Acting. He got his start on the New York stage in the 1940’s, moved to TV work in the 1950’s before expanding into film work in 1960 with his breakthrough role in The Magnificent Seven. Wallach would follow this up with standout performances in The Misfits, How The West Was Won and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. After these successes, Wallach would return to TV to play Mr. Freeze on Batman. Later films included The Two Jakes, The Godfather: Part III and a reunion with his The Good, the Bad and the Ugly co-star Clint Eastwood in Mystic River. His last movie appearance was in the 2010 sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.
Amazingly, Wallach was never nominated for an Academy Award although he was bestowed with a Honorary Oscar in 2010. Then again an Academy Award is no guarantee of work.
I remember Wallach best from a guest spot he did on what was the final episode of Season 2 of Law & Order back in 1992 in which he played an elderly union activist. I wish I had a video of it because he had this way of taking over a scene. I’m sure the actors around him enjoyed every minute of it.