Eli Wallach 1915-2014


One of the greatest character actors of all time, Emmy and Tony Award winner Eli Wallach is best remembered as Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez, or “The Ugly” in Sergio Leone’s spaghetti western masterpiece, “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” starring Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef. Close attention to the credits of a tremendous number (sometimes it seems like all) of movies made over the past sixty years–he played hundreds of roles during that time, on stage, in films and on television–reveals a wide range of characters, from Genghis Khan to Mr. Freeze.


Commentary Journal Uncategorized

R.I.P. Lou Reed

The great bands of the 1960s and early 1970s were just past their zenith when I started listening to music, but it was rare to sit down in front of a radio (look it up on wikipedia, kids) for any length of time and not hear hall of fame-scale music amidst the Foghat and Foreigner clogging up the airwaves.  A kid could tell pretty easily what mattered and what didn’t, but despite that I was never really thrilled by The Beatles, the Stones were just okay, and The Who could drive me out of a room.  Looking back, it’s likely that I would have responded differently to those great bands, if I hadn’t heard The Velvet Underground first.

They may not be the greatest band in the history of Rock N Roll, but they were the best, and the coolest.  The soundtrack to my youth just got a lot quieter.  Thanks, Lou.