From Brooklyn to Honorary Oscar
“THERE’S something I want to show you,” Eli Wallach says, ushering me into his apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. On this occasion what he has in mind is a drawing by Al Hirschfeld, one of two that hang prominently in the front hall: “That’s Annie and me, on our 50th anniversary.” Anyone with a memory of New York theater or, for that matter, of the Sunday Arts Leisure section of this newspaper extending back a few decades would surely recognize Hirschfeld’s affectionate likeness of Mr. Wallach and Anne Jackson, his frequent co star and also canada goose uk outlet his Canada Goose Parka wife of 62 years. Never one to miss a cue, the real life Ms. Jackson steps forward to accept a modest bouquet of purple irises, rewarding the bearer with kisses and a version of the incandescent smile so brilliantly captured and caricatured by Hirschfeld’s pen.
The Hirschfeld portrait is the evening’s featured artifact, but canada goose clearance sale the walls and surfaces of the apartment are thick with mementos of one long marriage, two entwined careers, three children and countless enduring friendships. There are production stills and candid photographs from various movies and plays, in which one can spot Marilyn Monroe, Elia Kazan, Clint Eastwood, Canada Goose Outlet Truman Capote and others; pictures canada goose factory sale of and by the couples’ son, Peter, and their two daughters, Roberta and Katherine; a small painting by Clifford Odets; framed letters, awards and tributes; books by and about illustrious colleagues and old friends; snapshots of unusual trees near their East Hampton summer place. (Photography is one of Mr. Wallach’s longstanding hobbies; collecting clocks is another.) Somewhere in the midst of it all, space will have Canada Goose Jackets to be cleared for the honorary Academy Award that Eli Wallach will receive at a banquet in Los Angeles next Saturday, a few weeks before his 95th birthday. But some disclosure is in order here. It was not my professional credentials that got me in the door. This was not my first time seeing the Hirschfelds, or the photograph of Eli and Annie in “Major Barbara” from back in the 1940s, or the family albums and knickknacks. I have ridden the elevator in that prewar building more times than I can count, been a guest at some of the parties whose relics litter the end tables, and heard most of the stories that echo through the rooms and hallways. Including the canadian goose jacket one about how my parents exchanged their wedding vows in the living room.
So call it nepotism, if you want, but to me Mr. Wallach is Uncle Eli. He is, technically, my great uncle: my grandfather, Sam Wallach, who died in 2001, was Eli’s older brother. They and their two sisters, Sylvia and Shirley, grew canada goose store up above a candy shop on Union Street in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn, the only Jewish family on a mostly Italian block. (Last time I checked, there was a pet food store at the old address.) It was Sam who sent Eli to the University of Texas, which his research showed had the cheapest tuition, Canada Goose Online and who encouraged his younger brother to pursue a master’s degree in education just in case the acting thing didn’t work out.
When it cheap canada goose uk did, no one was prouder. Listening to Eli tell his favorite stories, mixed in with a few sturdy old jokes, is both a familiar pleasure and a somewhat uncanny experience, since though I have heard most of them before, I can never be sure if it was from Eli or Sam. Though there were obvious family resemblances, they were not likely to be mistaken for each other. “He’s the older brother, so how come I’m the bald one?” Eli used to say. But at least in memory I have a hard time telling their voices uk canada goose outlet apart.
From whatever source, I grew up with stories Canada Goose online about Uncle Eli: the little kid who was always getting into mischief; the buy canada goose jacket Army medic who served in the European theater in World War II; and, most of all, the star of stage and screen. The highlights of his early career, as a vital figure in the postwar blossoming of American theater, were always a particular source of family pride and can still raise goose bumps among aficionados with long memories. He was in Canada Goose sale the original stage productions of “Teahouse of the August Moon” and “Mister Roberts,” though not in the films they eventually became. Uncle Eli’s first film was in 1956, directed by Elia Kazan from a script by Tennessee Williams a movie that earned him a British Academy Award, and Golden Globe nomination, and that was condemned by the Roman Catholic Church.
Continue reading the main canada goose uk black friday story
That, and a remarkable run of movies from the early and mid 1960s “The Victors,” “The Misfits” and of course “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” were all before my time, pieces of family legend that I would discover, on video or late night television or in repertory houses, as I pursued my informal education in film history. But he has never slowed down https://www.canadagoose-coats.ca , and over 54 years has amassed a filmography of more than 90 feature films, as well as scores of television appearances.
It was on the small screen that I learned to recognize him, and shout, “Hey, it’s Uncle Eli!” at the screen. (Though I did the same thing the first time I saw “Mystic River,” in which his single scene cameo as a loquacious liquor store owner is uncredited.) My youthful Eli epiphany, after seeing him in a few plays that I didn’t understand at all, came when I saw him as Mr. Freeze, scheming against Burt Ward and Adam West on the old “Batman” television series. (I suppose it is my scholarly duty to note that Otto Preminger also played that role, and of course Arnold Schwarzenegger did too, but in my entirely dispassionate judgment they hardly measure up.)
Most of the villains Uncle Eli played were considerably more hot blooded, like the bandit Calvera in “The Magnificent Seven,” shot dead in a scene that mortified his young son, Peter “Dad, how could you not outdraw Yul Brynner?” and that, at least according to Wallach lore, displeased his father, Abe, when it drew cheers from the audience.
What stands out now is the energy of the performance, the spark of playful delight that leavens the savagery and sadism of the character.
I’m aware that my critical eye is shaded by personal affection, but it seems to buy canada goose jacket cheap me that what shines through Eli’s performances, however angry, treacherous or ugly the character and he will always be “The Ugly” to spaghetti western fans is the same gruff charm that I find in his company. The Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences citation celebrates Eli as “the quintessential chameleon, effortlessly inhabiting a wide range of characters, while putting his inimitable stamp on every role.” This is true enough, but it is also boilerplate that could just as easily apply to, say, Karl Malden, his foil and co star in “Baby Doll canada goose outlet store locations ,” or any of a number of other Methodizers of their generation. With Eli, there is an impish, sly quality, not a self conscious winking, exactly, but a palpable relish at the sheer fun canada goose of acting. He has at times pushed this to the edge of hamminess, and at least once gone over it into something altogether glorious.
Like most people in their 90s, he tends to reminisce a lot, and canada goose clearance to revisit certain themes and stories. If he cheap Canada Goose drops a word or forgets a name or a title (“The picture I did in Cambodia, with Peter O’Toole .”) someone will fill in the blank (), either a visiting film canada goose uk shop critic or one of Eli’s children or, most often, Aunt Annie.
Wikipedia describes their marriage as “one of the longest and most successful in Hollywood history.” canada goose black friday sale That may be faint praise, and “Luv” and “Twice Around the Park,” both written by their friend Murray Schisgal. (“Luv,” directed by Mike Nichols, won a handful of Tonys and was made into a film starring other people.)
“I used to like to come into the room when Eli was being interviewed and say, ‘I have very sad news,'” Annie says as we sit down to dinner. “‘Our relationship is not going to work out. We’re finished.'”
It is hard to imagine the last time a journalist fell for this, which only improves the joke. “You see that? She loves to tease canada goose coats me,” Eli says.
“I was at the premiere of ‘The Holiday,’ a movie I did with Kate Winslet,” he continues. “Surrounded by all these beautiful young women. And after they left, Annie comes up and says to me, ‘Honestly, I don’t know what they see in you.'”
She does, of course. More to the point, is that the Academy which never gave Uncle Eli a nomination and which he never bothered to join at last sees what so many of us have delighted in for so canada goose coats on sale long.
Uncle Eli himself is taking it in stride. One morning last month, shortly after our dinner, I went to visit him again. He greeted me with his usual complaint about The New York Times, which is that he can’t find the obituaries, which migrate from one section to another on different days. He had also just received news that his close friend, the playwright Joseph Stein, had died, and he paused to consider other recent losses, including Patricia Neal, at whose memorial he spoke this year. But he moved on briskly, uk canada goose with tales of Clint Eastwood and Marilyn Monroe and plugs for his 2004 memoir, “The Good, the Bad and Me.” (“The subtitle is ‘In My Anecdotage,'” he says. “Bill Clinton asked me if he could use it, and I said: ‘You sold two million copies of your book. How dare you try to steal my subtitle?'”)
And there was more to show, as well, including a passage from one of Tennessee Williams’s letters offering tribute to his loyal friends Eli and Annie, who had bolstered him against the occasional unkindness of critics (including those from The New York Times). “Eli,” Williams wrote, “has discovered the secret of pissing people Canada Goose Coats On Sale off. He’s happy.”.