On February 22, this year’s annual benefit for Theater For The New City’s Emerging Playwrights Program at the National Arts Club honors acting couple Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson, which seems only natural. In 2005, Wallach released his delightful autobiography “The Good, the Bad and Me: In My Anecdotage,” but at 94, Brooklyn-born Wallach is neither in his dotage nor his anecdotage.
This month’s Berlin International Film Festival (February 12 - 21) features the world premiere of Roman Polanski’s “The Ghost Writer,” in which Wallach plays a key role. On January 19, the Miami Jewish Film Festival screened the new film “Tickling Leo,” in which Wallach is cast as the patriarch of a Hungarian Jewish family caught in the ongoing historical repercussions of the tragic Holocaust-era Kastner Train. Last October, cinema-goers admired Wallach in the anthology film “New York, I Love You” in which he is the riotously crabby husband of Cloris Leachman. TV viewers also saw Wallach’s feistily moving turn on the Showtime series “Nurse Jackie” as an ornery hospital patient.