Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Star Dies at 98

Eli Wallach played 'a lifetime's worth of indelible screen characters'

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 25, 2014 1:37 AM CDT

(Newser) – Only the good is now left from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Eli Wallach, the veteran character actor best known for his roles in spaghetti westerns, has died at the age of 98, the BBC reports. The Brooklyn native played "ugly" Mexican bandit Tuco Ramirez in the Sergio Leone classic alongside Clint Eastwood's "good" bounty hunter and the "bad" mercenary played by Lee Van Cleef, who died in 1989. Wallach had scores of other film and TV roles including parts in The Magnificent Seven, How the West Was Won, The Misfits, and The Godfather Part III, all the way up to 2010's Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. He was never nominated for an Academy Award, but received an honorary award in 2010 for playing "a lifetime's worth of indelible screen characters," Variety notes.

Wallach studied at the University of Texas at Austin, where the horse-riding skills he picked up proved very useful in his later career, the New York Times finds. He spent five years in the Army during World War II and became a highly respected stage actor afterward, making his film debut in 1956's Baby Doll. "I lead a dual life," he once said. "In the theater, I’m the little man, or the irritated man, the misunderstood man," but in movies, "I do seem to keep getting cast as the bad guys." He is survived by his wife of 66 years, fellow thespian Anne Jackson, and their three children.

Actor Eli Wallach arrives at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences 2nd Annual Governors Awards in Los Angeles on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010.   (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg)
In this film publicity image released by Vivendi Entertainment, Cloris Leachman, left, and Eli Wallach are shown in a scene from, "New York, I Love You."   (AP Photo/Vivendi Entertainment)
Eli Wallach arrives at the Museum of Tolerance Film Festival Gala honoring Clint Eastwood at The Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, on Sunday Nov. 14, 2010.   (AP Photo/Katy Winn)
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The showdown scene from "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly."   (YouTube)

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