ELI WALLACH: The Solicitous Sancho of the Screen

Often playing the Sancho to Quixote leading men, Eli Wallach brought a profundity to the side-kick,the ugly, the outsider, the other guy. I’ll never forget the first time I lay sight on those shifty, quizzical eyes in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, or the way he usurped the role of leading man, dancing with Marilyn as she utters in breathy tones  ‘We’re all dying’ in The Misfits. Alas, they all are dead–Marilyn, Clark, Montgomery, Thelma and now Eli. I get sad every time another ole’ screen actor checks out, thankfully the aren’t really dead, not really, they live on, preserved, taxidermy on the golden screen.

Tonight I am going to watch The Misfits.

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