Eli Wallach was a prominent American actor who had a net worth of $6 million at the time of his death. Eli Wallach debuted on Broadway in 1945 and developed an impressive career over the next seven decades, ultimately appearing in over 90 films and many theatre productions. He appeared in such acclaimed projects as, “The Magnificent Seven”, “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”, and “The Godfather: Part III”. Eli won multiple BAFTA, Emmy, and Tony Awards, and an Honorary Oscar. Eli Wallach died on June 24, 2014 at the age of 98 from natural causes. He is survived by his wife, three children, five grand children and seven great-grandchildren.
Wallach was born on December 7, 1915 in Brooklyn, New York City. He was the son of Jewish immigrants Abraham and Bertha Wallach, who were originally from Poland. The family was the only Jewish family in the Italian-American neighborhood of Red Hook, Brooklyn and his parents owned a candy shop called Bertha’s Candy Store.
After attending high school, Wallach enrolled at the University of Texas and graduated with a degree in history in 1936. While a student, he became involved in theater and performed play with fellow students, Ann Sheridan and Walter Cronkite. He also learned to ride horses while living in Texas.
He then returned to New York and received a master’s degree in education from the City College of New York. He also began studying under Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre and gained his first experience in method acting. However, his time there was cut short when he was drafted into the United States Army in 1940. He initially served as a staff sergeant and medic at military hospital in Hawaii and then attended Officer Candidate School in Abilene, Texas. He was later ordered to serve in Casablanca and then in France. When the war ended in 1945, Wallach was discharged as a captain and received a number of awards, such as the Army Good Conduct Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.
Wallach began his career as an actor in theatre. After returning to New York, he continued taking acting classes at the Dramatic Workshop of the New School under German director Erwin Piscator. He later became a founding member of the Actors Studio under instructor Lee Strasberg, where he studied with other students like Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, and Sidney Lumet, as well as his future wife, Anne Jackson. He was also one of Marilyn Monroe’s first friends when she started training at the Actors Studio.
In 1945, Wallach made his Broadway debut. He continued booking roles and in 1951, won his first Tony Award for his performance in the Tennessee Williams play, “The Rose Tattoo,” Over the next five years, he continued working only in theatre, with some of his credits being, “Mister Roberts,” “The Teahouse of the August Moon,” “Camino real,” and “Major Barbara.” During this time, he had a hard time making ends meet, as the theatre roles did not pay well and him and his wife, Jackson were living in a one-room apartment and filing for unemployment insurance. However, despite their tough beginning, Wallach and Jackson went on to become one of the best-known acting couples in American theatre, often working together on-stage and after Wallach became a successful film actor.
After over a decade in strictly theatre acting, Wallach’s film debut arrived in 1956 when he took a part in the film, “Baby Doll.” Though the film was controversial due to its underlying sexual theme, Wallach won the British Academy Film Award (BAFTA) in the Most Promising Newcomer category for his performance. Due to this early success as well as Wallach’s incredible talent, he went on to have a prolific career as a character actor.
Some of his early film credits include “The Lineup,” “The Misfits,” “How to Steal a Million,” “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” and “Once Upon a Time in the West.” Because of his involvement in Western films, he became friends with Clint Eastwood. Their friendship lasted throughout the rest of Wallach’s life and the two got to work together again when Eastwood directed Wallach in his 2003 film, “Mystic River.
He also appeared in a number of television dramas during the “Golden Age” of television in the 1950s, including “Studio One,” “The Armstrong Circle Theatre,” and “The Hallmark Hall of Fame,” among others. Some of his later film roles include “The Godfather Part III,” “The Associate,” “Mystic River,” “The Holiday, and “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.” His final performance was in the short film, “The Train,” released after his death in 2015. In it, he plays the role of a Holocaust survivor. The film premiered at the Rhode Island International Film Festival.
Many film critics have praised Wallach’s versatility and dedication to playing memorable diverse characters. Sources like the L.A. Times, The Guardian, and the Academy of Motion Pictures have all called Wallach the idea character actor. Throughout his career, he received numerous awards and accolades, including Tony, Emmy, and BAFTA awards. In 2010, when he was 94, the received an Academy Honorary Award for his contribution to the film industry from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
In March of 1948, Wallach married stage actress Anne Jackson. The two remained married for 66 years until Wallach’s death in 2014. The couple had three children together – Peter, Roberta, and Katherine. In his personal life, Wallach never drank and had to ask for guidance on how to portray drunken characters for some of his roles.
In 2005, Wallach suffered a stroke and lost sight in his left eye. In June of 2014, Wallach died of natural causes at the age of 98. His wife, Anne, died two years later at the age of 90.
|Net Worth:||$6 Million|
|Date of Birth:||Dec 7, 1915 – Jun 24, 2014 (98 years old)|
|Height:||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Profession:||Actor, Film Producer|
|Nationality:||United States of America|