Anne Jackson, Acclaimed Actress and Widow of Eli Wallach, Dies at 90

Courtesy of Photofest
Anne Jackson

The Tony Award nominee appeared opposite her husband on Broadway and off-Broadway almost two dozen times, including in the popular 1960s comedy 'Luv.'

Anne Jackson, the esteemed actress who worked often alongside her husband, the late Eli Wallach, died Tuesday at her home in Manhattan, their daughter Katherine Wallach told The New York Times. She was 90.

Jackson and Wallach appeared together 13 times on Broadway and seven times off-Broadway, the newspaper noted, and they shared the screen in such movies as The Tiger Makes Out (1967), How to Save a Marriage and Ruin Your Life (1968), Zig Zag (1970) and Nasty Habits (1977).

Among their prominent stage collaborations was three-time Tony winner Luv (1964), directed by Mike Nichols. The caustic comedy, which had the couple playing husband and wife opposite Alan Arkin, ran for more than two years and 900-plus performances.

Jackson was nominated for a Tony for her performance as Edward G. Robinson's daughter in Middle of the Night (1956), written by Paddy Chayefsky.

She played five women, ranging from middle age to a grandmother, in Promenade, All! (1972) and stood out as a housewife losing her mind in Alan Ayckbourn’s Absent Friends (1977). She made her debut on Broadway in 1944 in New Moon.

Also on the big screen, Jackson played the doctor who treats the youngster Danny after he has a horrible premonition while brushing his teeth in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining (1980).

She and Wallach married in 1948, and he died in June 2014 at age 98.

Jackson was born in the Pittsburgh suburb of Millvale, Pa. She and her family moved to Brooklyn, and when she was 14, her mother suffered a breakdown and lived the rest of her years in mental institutions.

After high school, Jackson studied drama at the New School in Manhattan. She met Wallach in 1946 when they were cast in Tennessee Williams’ This Property Is Condemned, and they studied under Lee Strasberg, founder of the Actors Studio.

They appeared together on Broadway in King Henry VIII (1946), A Pound on Demand/Androcles and the Lion (1946) and What Every Woman Knows (1946). They went on to take the big stage in Major Barbara (1957), The Glass Menagerie (1959), Rhinoceros (1961), The Waltz of the Toreadors (1973) and Twice Around the Park (1982).

They each won a Obie Award in 1963 for their performances in The Typists/The Tiger, and in 2000, they starred in the off-Broadway production of the comedy Down the Garden Paths, written by Anne Meara.

In addition to Katherine, an actress (Goodfellas, Pollock), survivors include their daughter and actress Roberta Wallach (The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, Rabbit Hole) and son Peter Wallach (a producer and special effects animator).

At the 2010 Governors Awards, Jackson toasted her husband, who was there to receive an Honorary Oscar.

"One of the things I really love about Eli is that he's still learning," she said, "and this leads me to the truth of the matter. I taught him everything he knows."

 

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