Martin Landau, Star Of 'Mission Impossible' And 'Ed Wood,' Dies At 89

Martin Landau, Oscar Winner for 'Ed Wood,' Dies at 89

Landau's representative confirmed to the outlet that he died Saturday, July 15 of "unexpected complications" following a short stay at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

He also starred in sci-fi series "Space: 1999", in which he co-starred with then-wife Barbara Bain.

"A character without emotions would have driven me insane; I would have had to be lobotomized", he explained in 2001. He was Rollin Hand in TV's Mission: Impossible, a charismatic and slightly enigmatic member of the team.

Ironically, Nimoy replaced Landau on "Mission: Impossible".

Landau made his first bigscreen impression in Alfred Hitchcock's action suspenser "North by Northwest", playing the villain who does Mason's dirty work. He appeared in an uneven parade of films and TV shows, including the limp comedy "B.A.P.S".

Martin Landau received a Golden Globe award for Best Supporting Actor and an Academy Award nomination for his role in Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988). The following year, he turned in a second Oscar-nominated performance, in Woody Allen's "Crimes and Misdemeanors" (1989). He won the Oscar for the "Ed Wood" role. "I was a bad guy by profession, a heavy in a certain kind of tacky movie".

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Landau and his wife left the show - he quit in a salary dispute, and she was sacked in retaliation - three years into the show, at the peak of their fame.

Landau, won an Oscar for playing Bela Lugosi in the movie "Ed Wood,".

Landau got his start as a newspaper cartoonist at the New York Daily News, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He was everywhere again, usually cast as sober authority figures - lawyers, judges, doctors, the President - all the while working his way towards Tim Burton's Ed Wood. After years of forgettable walk-on parts, writers were tailoring roles for him.

He had dabbled in acting before the switch, making his stage debut in 1951 at a ME summer theater in "Detective Story" and off-Broadway in "First Love". His acting career began in earnest when he was one of only two applicants accepted to the Actor's Studio in 1955 - of the 2,000 to audition, only he and Steve McQueen made the cut that year.

The Oscar chiseled Landau was in the pantheon of great character actors, and performances in Rounders (1998), The Majestic (2001), and a sublime cameo on HBO's Entourage (2006) showcased his seemingly effortless ability to steal the show with just a few scenes.

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