Legendary Actor Martin Landau Dies at 89

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Academy Award-Winning Actor Martin Landau, known for his leading roles in North By Northwest and the 1960s Mission: Impossible TV series, has died. He had been hospitalized at UCLA where he experienced complications. Landau would ultimately be instrumental in opening a West Coast branch of the Studio, and he'd continue teaching for the rest of his life. Mr. Landau was nominated for several Emmy Awards and won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor. He left the show, which also starred his then wife Barbara Bain, in a contract dispute. Landau then starred in Francis Ford Coppola's "Tucker: The Man and His Dream", where he played Abe Karatz, the business partner of visionary automaker Preston Tucker (Jeff Bridges).

Actor Ralph Macchio‏ said he was a "simply wonderful" performer whose Oscar-nominated performance in Woody Allen's Crimes And Misdemeanours is among his favourites.

The film star picked up an Oscar for his role as Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton's Ed Wood. Landau would go on to receive a best supporting actor nomination for his performance.


The prolific actor's most notable credits included the "Mission: Impossible" television series, Alfred Hitchcock's classic film "North by Northwest", and his role in "Ed Wood", for which he won an Oscar. In 1955, he auditioned for Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio, one of only two applicants our of over 2,000 to win acceptance that year alongside Steve McQueen. "What could I do?" he later lamented.

Landau was born in Brooklyn in 1928, and while he was still a teenager, he got a job as a cartoonist for the Daily News.

Landau gained fame on the 1960's TV show "Mission: Impossible". But he gloriously came into his own in movies in his later years. A widely acknowledged nadir was the TV film "The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island" (1981). The couple divorced in 1993. He also worked as an acting teacher. One of them, actress Juliet Landau, appeared with her father in Ed Wood. He also had a role in "City of Ember" and did voicework for the 2009 animated feature "9" and 2012's "Frankenweenie". He would star in another television series from 1975-1977 as Commander John Koenig in Space: 1999, which was canceled after just two seasons.

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