Tony & Emmy Winner Eli Wallach Dies at Age 98

The New York Times reports that film, television and stage actor Eli Wallach, whose career spanned more than six decades, beginning in the late 1940s, died on Tuesday, June 24th at the age of 98. His death was confirmed by his daughter Katherine.

Wallach received a BAFTA Award, Tony Award and Emmy Award for his work, and received an Honorary Academy Award at the 2nd Annual Governors Awards, presented on November 13, 2010.

In 1945 he made his Broadway debut and won a Tony Award in 1951 for his performance alongside Maureen Stapleton in the Tennessee Williams play The Rose Tattoo. His other theater credits include Mister Roberts, The Teahouse of the August Moon, Camino Real, Major Barbara, Luv, and Staircase, co-starring Milo O'Shea, which was a serious depiction of an aging homosexual couple. He last starred on stage as the title character in Visiting Mr. Green.

Wallach's film debut was in Elia Kazan's controversial 1956 Baby Doll, for which he won the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) for "Most Promising Newcomer." Other early films include The Lineup, The Misfitswith Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe, The Magnificent Seven with Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen, Lord Jim with Peter O'Toole, a comic role in How to Steal a Million with Audrey Hepburn, and as Tuco (the 'Ugly') in Sergio Leone's The Good, the Bad and the Ugly with Clint Eastwood followed by several other spaghetti westerns, including Ace High.

Wallach appeared in many television dramas during the "Golden Age" of the 1950s, including Studio One, The Philco Television Playhouse, The Armstrong Circle Theatre, Playhouse 90, and The Hallmark Hall of Fame, among others. He won the 1966-1967 Emmy Award for his role in the telefilm The Poppy is Also a Flower. In 2006 Wallach appeared on NBC's Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, playing a former writer who was blacklisted in the 1950s. Wallach earned a 2007 Emmy nomination for his work on the show.

Wallach played Mr. Freeze in the 1960s Batman television series. He wrote in his autobiography that he received more fan mail about his role as Mr. Freeze than about all of his other roles combined.

On November 13, 2010, at the age of 94, Wallach received an Honorary Academy Award for his contribution to the film industry at the 2010 Governor's Awards ceremony of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos

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