The Legendary Eli Wallach
I arranged to photograph...
...iconic actor Eli Wallach for my future book on Legends in the Worlds of Arts and Culture when I had a studio on West 14th Street in the Village.
Tony Randall, best known for his role as Felix Unger in The Odd Couple, recommended Eli to me. (Another Tony segment is on the way!) They had both been to The Neighborhood Playhouse.
Eli is best known for playing TUCO in the western The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, acting opposite Marilyn Monroe in The Misfits, with Carroll Baker in Baby Doll, The Rose Tattoo, and The Godfather III, among many other roles.
Mr. Wallach made it up three flights of stairs to my loft studio while well into his 80s and not that long after a double hip replacement. We had a lovely time together, and he regaled me with stories about Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, and other celebrities.
Eli had a beautiful and distinctive silver ring (half was carved with a drama mask, and half with a comedy mask). He was a little frightening, and he made a point of mentioning that he had been photographed by all of history's finest photographers! There's no pressure here!
It was a fantastic session, and I felt privileged to spend time with one of the greatest stage and screen actors of all time. They certainly don't make 'em like that any longer!