Eli Wallach’s Forgotten Role As Mr. Freeze In Batman

Ben Falk
·Contributor

Following the death of legendary character actor Eli Wallach at the age of 98, tributes have been pouring in for his performances in seminal films like ‘The Magnificent Seven’ and ‘The Good, The Bad And The Ugly’.

But while audiences loved him in those movies, his most beloved role was actually something a little more random.

Wallach was actually the third actor (after the equally legendary George Sanders and Otto Preminger) to play a well-known baddie in a two-episode-long arc he did on TV’s ‘Batman’ in 1967.

“I did Mr. Freeze,” wrote in the star in his autobiography. “I get more mail for him than anything I’ve ever done.”

Read more: Eli Wallach Dies

In his storyline, Wallach, sporting a German accent, grey face and ice-tinted bouffant hair, kidnaps an Icelandic professor and builds a giant freeze ray. Unfortunately for him, Batman and Robin (Adam West and Burt Ward) are on hand to win the day.

A quick glance at IMDB suggests it’s the only connection Wallach has with Arnold Schwarzenegger, who infamously played Freeze in the flop ‘Batman And Robin’. Arnie’s version had a penchant for ice puns.

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Wallach had 167 credits on his CV, and also showed up in the likes of ‘The Godfather: Part III’, ‘The Holiday’ and even ‘ER’.

Photos: Rex/Press Association