Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Prolific actor Eli Wallach, only 98, remembered for his roles in such movies as The Godfather III, The Magnificent Seven, and as Clark Gable's sidekick in the doomed 1961 film The Misfits, died yesterday according to his daughter.

He would often appear with his wife (from 1948), actress Anne Jackson, who survives him.

Wallach was the last major cast member from The Misfits, outliving all of his co-stars by at least 45 years. The last co-star, Thelma Ritter, died way back in 1969. Marilyn Monroe died in 1962, Montgomery Clift in 1966, and Clark Gable died right after production ended in 1960 thanks to the work stressing his heart.

Wallach made so many film appearances but nobody bothered to nominate him for an Academy Award. Life is sometime unfair that way, but his many fans didn't and don't care. It didn't bother him, either, since he had won a Tony Award and preferred working on the stage.

Wallace continued to work well into his nineties.

His first love was the stage. Mr. Wallach and Ms. Jackson became one of the best-known acting couples in the American theater. But films, even less than stellar ones, helped pay the bills. “For actors, movies are a means to an end,” Mr. Wallach said in an interview with The New York Times in 1973. “I go and get on a horse in Spain for 10 weeks, and I have enough cushion to come back and do a play.”

Mr. Wallach, who as a boy was one of the few Jewish children in his mostly Italian-American neighborhood in Brooklyn, made both his stage and screen breakthroughs playing Italians. In 1951, six years after his Broadway debut in a play called “Skydrift,” he was cast opposite Maureen Stapleton in Tennessee Williams’s “The Rose Tattoo,” playing Alvaro Mangiacavallo, a truck driver who woos and wins Serafina Delle Rose, a Sicilian widow living on the Gulf Coast. Both Ms. Stapleton and Mr. Wallach won Tony Awards for their work in the play.


Senator Thad Cochran, 76, survived an attempt on his political life yesterday, looking none the worse but none the better over the ordeal:

After trailing the lesser known McDaniel in the June 3 primary, Cochran, in three weeks time, managed to: a) grow the electorate in his favor by, among other things, recruiting African Americans to his cause b) run successfully on a message of keeping his seniority in Washington and c) win despite, quite clearly, being the less naturally skilled candidate on the stump.

Doing one of those things in three weeks time would be astounding. Doing all three is like watching someone pitch a political perfect game; you'll not see a victory like this one any time soon.

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