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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

Eli Wallach, 1915-2014: At home on stage and screen

Eli Wallach died Tuesday. That may not mean much to many contemporary moviegoers, much less fans of the theater. But the fact is, Wallach had ties both with some of the greatest talents who have worked in both arenas.

In the mid-20th-century New York theater world, Wallach performed in a number of plays by such writers as Tennessee Williams, Jean Anouilh and Eugene Ionesco. I particularly liked his work in a 1971 Public Television production of Clifford Odets play “Paradise Lost.”

But it's Wallach's performance in movies that should prove most memorable. His performance in Sergio Leone's “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” for one. But especially his role as the Mexican bandit leader Calvera, in John Sturges' 1960 Western “The Magnificent Seven.”

Click on the embed below to see the great Wallach in action (sorry, but you'll have to suffer through an ad before the clip plays):

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