Eli Wallach, prolific character actor, is dead at age 98

Eli Wallach, prolific character actor, is dead at age 98
(Image credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

You probably know Eli Wallach's work, even if you don't know his name. The prolific American actor died on Tuesday at age 98. For his 60 years in film, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded Wallach a special honorary Oscar in 2010, lauding him as "the quintessential chameleon, effortlessly inhabiting a wide range of characters, while putting his inimitable stamp on every role," The New York Times reports.

Wallach played Italians (Godfather Part III, Tennessee Williams' Baby Doll), Mexicans (The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly and The Magnificent Seven), a Javanese warlord (Lord Jim), and a host of often villainous characters on screen and onstage. One of his last roles was in 2010's Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. "What else am I going to do?" Wallach told The Times in 1997. "I love to act."

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