Legendary film actor Eli Wallach dies at 98
Character actor Eli Wallach, who portrayed bandit chief Calvera in the film The Magnificent Seven has died at the age of 98.
14:53 25 June 2014
Legendary character film actor Eli Wallach has died at the age of 98, as confirmed by his daughter Katherine in the New York Times.
Wallach, whose films included The Good, the Bad and the Ugly where he played opposite Clint Eastwood, made a mark in the movie The Magnificent Seven where he played bandit chief Calvera. Many have regarded this as his most definitive role, but his career saw him work alongside some of the industry's finest performers and behind the scenes talents.
He began his film career in 1956 and received an honorary Oscar in 2011, where he was described as “quintessential chameleon.” The Academy rewarded him for "effortlessly inhabiting a wide range of characters, while putting his inimitable stamp on every role.”
Talking about the usual roles he played in his past movies, he told a Hollywood reporter: "As an actor I've played more bandits, thieves, warlords, molesters and mafioso than you could shake a stick at.”
In 1967, he earned an Emmy for his supporting turn in the drama Poppies Are Also Flowers and picked up another four nominations.
Asked about possible retirement, he told the Times in 1997: ''What else am I going to do? I love to act."
One of his final film roles was in Roman Polanski's political thriller The Ghost in which an electrifying scene opposite Ewan McGregor won him rave reviews.