Monday, December 7, 2009

Eli Wallach

Eli Wallach is one of Hollywood's finest character "Method" actors. He has been acting on stage, televison and in film for over 50 years.

At the age of 94, Eli Wallach is still active. His most recent appearance was on an episode of Nurse Jackie. In 2010, he will appear in the film The Ghost.

Eli Wallach was born in Brooklyn, New York, on December 7, 1915. The son of Bertha Schorr and Abraham Wallach. His parents owned Bertha's, a candy store.

Eli Wallach graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and received a Masters of Arts from the City College of New York. However, he gained his first method acting experience at the Neighborhood Playhouse. It was while attending the University of Texas that Wallach performed in a play with fellow students Ann Sheridan and Walter Cronkite. Eli Wallach also took classes in acting at the Dramatic Workshop of the New School in New York with the influential German director Erwin Piscator.

During World War II, Eli Wallach served as a staff sergeant in Hawaii in a military hospital in the United States Army. However, he was soon sent to Officer Candidate School in Texas to undergo training to become a medical administrative officer. He graduated as a Second Lieutenant.

In 1945, Eli Wallach made his Broadway debut in Skydrift. In 1951, he won the Tony Award for his performance in the Tennessee Williams play The Rose Tattoo. He also appeared in the Broadway productions of Mister Roberts, The Teahouse of the August Moon, Camino Real, Major Barbara, Luv, Alice in Wonderland, and Staircase.

Eli Wallach's film debut was in Elia Kazan's controversial Baby Doll(1956). He also appeared in films such as The Misfits (1961), How The West Was Won (1962), How to Steal a Million (1966), The Deep (1977), The Hunter (1980), Nuts (1987) and The Godfather Part III (1990).

He is best known for his role as Mexican bandit Calvera in The Magnificent Seven (1960) and Tuco in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966).

Eli Wallach's television credits include Batman, ER, Murder She Wrote, 100 Centre Street, Law & Order, LA Law, and Highway to Heaven. In 1966 he won the Emmy for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Drama for Poppies Are Also Flowers.

Eli Wallach married Anne Jackson on March 5, 1948 and have one of the longest marriages in Hollywood, 61 years. They have three children: Peter, Katherine and Roberta.

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