Factbox: Facts about character actor Eli Wallach

Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:30am EDT

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(Reuters) - * Wallach's parents were Jewish immigrants from Poland who owned a candy store in an Italian neighborhood of the New York borough of Brooklyn.

* He earned degrees from the University of Texas and City College of New York and studied acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse and, after serving in the army during World War Two, the Actors Studio.

* Wallach stood out as Calvera, the Mexican bandit chieftain, in "The Magnificent Seven," an adaptation of the Japanese classic "Seven Samurai."

* Wallach's character Tuco was "the ugly" in "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" opposite Clint Eastwood in Sergio Leone's classic "spaghetti Western."

* Other notable roles came in "How the West Was Won," "Mystic River," "The Holiday," "Lord Jim," "The Godfather, Part 3" and "The Misfits." In "The Misfits", he starred with Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe, who both died before they could complete another movie.

* Wallach was set to play Maggio in the 1953 film "From Here to Eternity", but was replaced by Frank Sinatra, a break that resulted in Sinatra winning an Oscar and reviving his career. There were rumors that Sinatra got the role after undue influence from mobsters forced Wallach's replacement, but Wallach said he rejected the part in order to appear in a Tennessee Williams play.

* In 1948, Wallach married Anne Jackson, with whom he had been appearing on Broadway in "This Property Is Condemned." The marriage produced three children.

* Wallach said the role that generated the most fan mail was his portrayal of Mr. Freeze, the comic villain he played briefly on the 1960s "Batman" television series.

(Writing by Bill Trott; Editing by Ron Popeski)

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