Sad news: Acclaimed character actor Eli Wallach, best known for roles in "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," and "The Magnificent Seven," has died. He was 98.
His son, Peter, told the Associated Press his father died on natural causes "The best way to honor him is to put on one of his movies," he said. "Put on 'Baby Doll' or 'Magnificent Seven.' Those live forever."
Wallach has been a fixture of theater and film since the '50s: He won a Tony Award in 1951 for his performance as Alvaro in Tennessee Williams's "The Rose Tattoo," and made his film debut five years later in the Elia Kazan's "Baby Doll," as a seductive salesman who targets naive young bride Caroll Baker.
He played the villainous Calvera in 1960's "The Magnificent Seven," (a remake of "Seven Samurai") in which oppressed Mexican villagers hire freelance muscle to take him out. He was also Tuco "The Ugly" in Sergio Leone's 1966 spaghetti western starring Clint Eastwood ("The Good") and Lee Van Cleef ("The Bad.")
Wallach is survived by his wife of 66 years, Anne Jackson, their three children, and his grandnephew A.O. Scott, a film critic for the New York Times.
The actor never won an Oscar (and, shockingly, was never nominated) but received an Honorary Oscar in 2010. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hailed him as “the quintessential chameleon, effortlessly inhabiting a wide range of characters, while putting his inimitable stamp on every role.”
He famously turned down the role that won Frank Sinatra an Oscar in "From Here to Eternity." Wallach said in a 2004 interview, "Whenever Sinatra saw me [after that], he’d say, ‘Hello, you crazy actor!’”
His most recent films include "Mystic River," "The Holiday," "The Ghost Writer," and "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps."