Dec. 7th, 1915
Brooklyn, New York, USA
Eli Wallach's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2010 - The Ghost Writer
2010 - Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
2009 - New York, I Love You
2007 - Mama's Boy
2006 - The Holiday
2005 - The Moon and the Son: An Imagined Conversation
2004 - Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson
2003 - Mystic River
2000 - Keeping the Faith
1996 - The Associate
1995 - Two much
1992 - Night and the City
1992 - Article 99
1990 - The Godfather: Part III
1990 - The Two Jakes
1986 - Tough Guys
1980 - The Hunter
1979 - Winter Kills
1979 - Firepower
1977 - The Domino Principle
1977 - The Deep
1977 - The Sentinel
1969 - Mackenna's Gold
1968 - I quattro dell'Ave Maria
1966 - How to Steal a Million
1965 - Lord Jim
1965 - Genghis Khan
1964 - The Moon-Spinners
1963 - The Victors
1962 - How the West Was Won
1961 - The Misfits
1960 - The Magnificent Seven
1958 - The Lineup
1956 - Baby Doll
Guest TV Roles
One of Hollywood's finest character / "Method" actors, Eli Wallach has been in demand for over 50 years on stage and screen and has worked alongside the biggest stars, including Clark Gable, Clint Eastwood, Steve McQueen (I), Marilyn Monroe, Yul Brynner, Peter O'Toole (I) and Al Pacino, to name but a few.
Wallach was born on 7 December 1915 in Brooklyn, NY, to Jewish parents who emigrated from Poland, and was one of the few Jewish kids in his mostly Italian neighborhood. He went on to graduate with a B.A. from the University of Texas in Austin, but gained his dramatic training with the Actors Studio and the Neighborhood Playhouse. He made his debut on Broadway in 1945, and won a Tony Award in 1951 for portraying Alvaro Mangiaco in the Tennessee Williams play "The Rose Tattoo".
Wallach made a strong screen debut in 1956 in the film version of the Tennessee Williams play Baby Doll (1956), shined as "Dancer", the nattily dressed hitman, in director Don Siegel's film-noir classic The Lineup (1958), and co-starred in the heist film Seven Thieves (1960). Director John Sturges then cast Wallach as vicious Mexican bandit Calvera in The Magnificent Seven (1960), the western adaptation of the Akira Kurosawa epic Shichinin no samurai (1954). By all reports, Wallach could not ride a horse prior to making "TMS", but expert tutelage from the film's Mexican stunt riders made it look easy! He next appeared in the superb The Misfits (1961), in the star-spangled western opus How the West Was Won (1962), the underrated WW2 film The Victors (1963), as a kidnapper in The Moon-Spinners (1964), in the sea epic Lord Jim (1965) and in the romantic comedy How to Steal a Million (1966).
Looking for a third lead actor in the final episode of the "Dollars Trilogy", Italian director Sergio Leone (I) cast the versatile Wallach as the lying, two-faced, money-hungry (but somehow lovable) bandit "Tuco" in the spectacular Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo. (1966) (aka "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly"), arguably his most memorable performance. Wallach kept busy throughout the remainder of the '60s and into the '70s with good roles in Mackenna's Gold (1969), Cinderella Liberty (1973), Crazy Joe (1974), The Deep (1977) and as Steve McQueen (I)'s bail buddy in The Hunter (1980).
The 1980s was an interesting period for Wallach, as he was regularly cast as an aging doctor, a Mafia figure or an over-the-hill hitman, such as in The Executioner's Song (1982) (TV), "Our Family Honor" (1985), Tough Guys (1986), Nuts (1987), The Two Jakes (1990) and as the candy-addicted "Don Altabello" in The Godfather: Part III (1990). At 75+ years of age, Wallach's quality of work was still first class and into the 1990s and beyond, he has remained in demand. He lent fine support to Vendetta: Secrets of a Mafia Bride (1991) (TV), Teamster Boss: The Jackie Presser Story (1992) (TV), Naked City: Justice with a Bullet (1998) (TV) and Keeping the Faith (2000). Most recently Wallach showed up as a fast-talking liquor store owner in Mystic River (2003) and in the comedic drama King of the Corner (2004).
In early 2005, Eli Wallach released his much anticipated autobiography, "The Good, The Bad And Me: In My Anecdotage", a wonderfully enjoyable read from one of the screen's most inventive and enduring actors.
- Appeared with 'Steve McQueen (I)' (qv), 'Marilyn Monroe' (qv) and 'Clark Gable' (qv) in their final completed films: _The Hunter (1980)_ (qv) and _The Misfits (1961)_ (qv) (for both Monroe and Gable) respectively.
- He has had two hip replacements and has arthritis in his back.
- Has a brother and two sisters, all of whom became teachers.
- Was credited with his first Broadway appearance in 'Harry Kleiner' (qv)'s "Skydrift" in 1945, the play in which 'Rita Moreno (I)' (qv) made her Broadway debut. The play closed after seven performances. Also appeared as a soothsayer in 'Katharine Cornell' (qv)'s 1947 production of 'William Shakespeare (I)' (qv)'s "Antony and Cleopatra." Other cast members in minor roles included 'Charlton Heston' (qv), 'Maureen Stapleton' (qv) and 'Joseph Wiseman' (qv). Among the other Broadway plays he has appeared in are "Mr. Roberts," "The Rose Tattoo," "Camino Real," "The Teahouse of the August Moon," "Rhinoceros" and "Luv.".
- While attending The University of Texas he acted in many student plays and in one he costarred with 'Walter Cronkite' (qv).
- He has three grandsons.
- In an interview on "Fresh Air" (on station WHYY in Philadephia, Pennsylvania), he explained to 'Terry Gross (II)' (qv) that he learned to ride horses at the University of Texas: He took care of the polo ponies. During the filming of the _The Magnificent Seven (1960)_ (qv), each morning he would ride a few hours with his gang.
- Is blind in the left eye due to a stroke.