25/06/2014 03:37 BST | Updated 25/06/2014 03:59 BST

Eli Wallach Dead: 'The Good, The Bad And The Ugly' Spaghetti Western Star Dies Aged 98

Eli Wallach, the US actor best known for his roles in Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns, has died at the age of 98.

The star - who appeared in 'The Good, The Bad And The Ugly', 'The Magnificent Seven', 'How The West Was Won' and 'The Misfits' - began his film career in 1956.

Eli in 'The Good, The Bad And The Ugly'

He was as well known for his method style of acting as he was for his distinctive raspy voice and specialised in playing villains on the big screen.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, he took up acting after completing war service.

Eli Wallach with Carroll Baker in 'Baby Doll' (1956)

He trained for the stage and appeared in theatre for ten years - making his stage debut in 1945 - before moving on to films.

He treaded the boards in productions that included 'Camino Real', 'The Diary of Anne Frank' and 'The Teahouse of the August Moon', which was his London debut.

In 1951, he won a Tony Award for playing Alvaro in Tennessee Williams’ original production of 'The Rose Tattoo'.

Eli Wallach (1915-2014)

He became the oldest Oscar recipient in 2010 when he was awarded an Honorary Academy Award. He said at the time: “As an actor I’ve played more bandits, thieves, warlords, molesters and mafioso that you could shake a stick at."

He leaves a wife, Anne Jackson and two daughters.

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