Eli Wallach

An enduring American actor

Eli Wallach

Eli Wallach

Eli Wallach was born in Red Hook, Brooklyn, in 1915, the son of Polish Jewish immigrants. After serving in the US Army in World War II, he received his formative stage training at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York. He made his Broadway debut in 1945, in the short-lived play Skydrift, and soon won a Tony Award, in 1951, for his performance as Alvaro Mangiaco in the The Rose Tattoo by Tennessee Williams.

Wallach leapt to film with another Tennessee Williams masterwork, Baby Doll (1956), and from there his career on the screen endured through the second half of the 20th century, well into the 21st. He appears in classics such as The Godfather III (1990), Mystic River (2003), and Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer (2010).

Throughout his career, Wallach has received Tony, Emmy, and BAFTA awards. In 2010, he received an Honorary Academy Award for his long and outstanding contribution to the performing arts.

He is featured as a contributor to Mister Paradise & Other One Act Plays by Tennessee Williams.

cover image of the book Mister Paradise & Other One Act Plays

Mister Paradise & Other One Act Plays

by Tennessee Williams

Edited by Nicholas Moschovakis and David Roessel

With a contribution by Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson

This collection of previously unpublished one-acts includes some of Tennessee Williams’s most poignant and hilarious characters: the tough and outrageous drag queens of And Tell Sad Stories of the Deaths of Queens…; the betrayed wife who refuses to take a lover in The Fat Man’s Wife; and the extravagant mistress who cheats on her married man in The Pink Bedroom.

Most of these plays were written in the 1930s and early 1940s, when Williams was already flexing his formindable theatrical imaginations: lovers scramble for quick assignations in the closed movie theater balcony of These Are the Stairs You’ve Got to Watch; Chekovian-style family ennui in Summer at the Lake leads to heartbreak; and in Thank You, Kind Spirit a mulatto spiritualist from New Orleans’ French Quarter is visciously exposed as a fraud – or is she?

Acclaimed stage and film actors Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson have conitrbuted a delightful foreword based on their memories of working with the playright, while an insightful introduction and notes by editors Nicholas Moschovakis and David Rossel provide biographical and textual background.

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