Tony, Emmy and honorary Oscar winner Eli Wallach has flown up to heaven where the angels are basking in the brilliance of the twin silver fields on his head, which kind of look like two silver baby weasels playing chicken. All of you oldies and/or people who watch a lot of movies on TCM know Eli from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Eli was The Ugly), The Magnificent Seven, The Misfits and How To Steal A Million. Young hos who won’t watch anything in black and white are probably saying, “I loved him in The Holiday!” Eli’s daughter Katherine told The New York Times that he died yesterday from natural causes. Katherine didn’t give any other information. Eli was 98.
Eli won a Tony in 1951 for his performance in The Rose Tattoo. He made his movie debut in 1956’s Baby Doll and kept working almost up until his death. Eli’s last feature film was Wall Street: Money Never Sleep. Eli has been in over 90 movies and he once said that even though he’s been in classic films with Marilyn Monroe and Steve McQueen’s hot ass, he gets the most fan mail for playing Mr. Freeze in the Batman TV show in the 1960s.
Eli is survived by his wife of 65 years Anne Jackson, his three children, five grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
And now is a good time to pay tribute to Eli Wallach’s hand-on-face pose game. In this publicity picture from The Magnificent Seven, Eli is using the two finger technique. Bow down.
In other sadness news, Caleb Bankston, the fiancé of the evil villainess Southern queen Colton “My Black Friend Is My Housekeeper” Cumbie from Survivor, also died yesterday in a train accident. People says that the train he was riding in derailed. Caleb was on Survivor: Blood vs. Water with Colton. He was only 26.
So Eli Wallach and Caleb Bankston are holding hands while making their way up to the afterword. It’s a random pairing, but it’s good to have a partner while making your way to heaven.
Rest in peace, Eli. Rest in peace, Caleb.