Today we are remembering and wishing Hollywood legend Eli Wallach many happy returns on what would have been his 101st Birthday.
Eli Wallach (December 7, 1915 – June 24, 2014) was an American film, television and stage actor whose career spanned more than six decades, beginning in the late 1940s. Trained in stage acting, he had more than 90 film credits to his name, including “The Magnificent Seven” (1960) “How The West Was Won” (1962) and the enduring cinematic masterpiece that is “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.” (1966.)
Marilyn fans will know him best through his role as Guido in the 1961 drama “The Misfits” which was written by Monroe’s then husband, Arthur Miller, directed by John Huston and co starred Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift.
Eli Wallach speaking in 1983
“Thanks to Marilyn, I was one of the first to be cast, and then I watched my name drop lower and lower in the credits as Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift and Thelma Ritter one by one came aboard. They’re all gone now, James Barton too. Marilyn and I had become very close friends several years before while she was working at the Actor’s Studio. While I was doing “Teahouse,” she’d come backstage to watch me from the wings night after night. When she was preparing “The Misfits,” she told Arthur Miller she wanted me to be in it. It was sad to watch her marriage breaking up while we were filming this valentine he had written to her. Gable was charming, as always, and Monty – well, he and Marilyn had this same self-destructive temperament. They were at a loss; they couldn’t cope. It’s easy to poke fun at those people – big stars – but it’s very sad.”
Wallach died on June 24, 2014 of natural causes at the age of 98. He was survived by his wife of 66 years, three children, three grandchildren and a great-grandchild. His body was cremated.