Born on Dec. 7, 1915, in Brooklyn, N.Y., Eli Wallach became one of America's most respected character actors in a film, TV and stage career that spanned seven decades. After college and an Army stint during World War II, Wallach moved back to New York, where he studied at the Actor's Studio. There, he learned the new and influential performance technique called method acting, which he perfected alongside classmates Marlon Brando and Patricia Neal.
In 1951, six years after his Broadway debut, Wallach won a Tony for Tennessee Williams's "The Rose Tattoo." In 1956, he made his film debut in the controversial Elia Kazan drama Baby Doll, which Wallach has called his best film.
For the next half-century, the tireless actor had memorable turns in scores of films, notably The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, The Misfits, The Magnificent Seven, The Godfather: Part III and The Holiday (at age 91!).