Every so often we find a actor who can fit into every genre and basically looks and feels comfortable in every role they have ever starred in. Eli Wallach is one of those greats. Many people today probably don’t have a clue who he is but he has a very recognisable face and voice. Sadly it was announce today that he had passed away aged 98. That’s another of the Great Hollywood stars gone and not surprisingly the numbers are dwindling. Wallach’s career spanned decades and in these decades he starred with some of the all time greats but most importantly he starred in many films opposite his wife Anne Jackson.
Wallach was a great method actor and had roles in many films and tv series so I’ve decided to mix things up a bit. Here are my favourite Eli Wallach moments, some may not be expected.
The Misfits (1961)
Wallach plays Clark Gable’s best friend in this film and gives a great performance which is often overlooked because it was Gable and Marilyn Monroe’s last ever film.
Here Guido (Wallach) tries to persuade Roslyn (Monroe) to leave Gay (Gable) for him.
Nurse Jackie (S01E03, “Chicken Soup”)
Only in one episode but plays a very memorable character, Bernard Zimberg. Wallach certainly proves his acting skills cross over perfectly into a medical drama. To me this is one of the clips I remember most from Season 1. Sorry for the quality
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966)
The film starring Clint Eastwood and Eli Wallach. It’s a cowboy film about bounty hunters. I decided upon the trailer because of the iconic accents and theme tune. Who can resist?
Murder, She Wrote (S04E13 “A Very Good Year For Murder”)
Again only in one episode and even to this day I can tell you, without looking, which character he is and what happens in the episode. Billy Zane also makes a guest appearance. Wallach plays a wealthy 75 year old, the family have a birthday party and luckily Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) is invited because someone ends up dead. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a clip but if you live in the UK re-runs are always on of this classic series.
Eli Wallach will be missed by the entire world and he should be proud of the work he has left behind. His memorable voice, style and looks will live on.
“As an actor I’ve played more bandits, thieves, killers, warlords, molesters, and Mafiosi than you could shake a stick at.”
~ Eli Wallach