Published: Mon, July 17, 2017
Culture | By Stewart Greene

Martin Landau, film and TV icon, dead at 89

Martin Landau, film and TV icon, dead at 89

There's some bad news that is coming out tonight about a true legend in Martin Landau - the actor is dead at the age of 89.

Yesterday Landau died at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles from unexpected complications during a short hospitalization for an undisclosed illness, publicist Dick Guttman said in a statement.

Academy Award-Winning Actor Martin Landau, known for his leading roles in North By Northwest and the 1960s Mission: Impossible TV series, has died.

Landau also portrayed a space commander John Koenig in the 1970s TV series, "Space 1999", in which Landau again played opposite his "Mission Impossible" co-star and former wife, Barbara Bain.

In addition to the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award, he also won a Screen Actors Guild accolade.

Landau worked as director, teacher and executive director at the Actors Studio West.

He received a supporting Oscar nomination for his touching and understated performance - the start of an acting renaissance in his 60s.

Actor Martin Landau at the AARP Magazine 10th Annual Movies For Grownups Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on February 7, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. His talent and hard work is most certainly appreciated and will be missed.

Landau lost out on Oscar night to Kevin Kline and Denzel Washington, respectively, in those years but finally prevailed for his larger-than-life portrayal of horror-movie legend Lugosi in the biopic Ed Wood (1994), directed by Tim Burton.

Landau had been a cartoonist before starting his acting career in the '50s.

In more recent years, Landau appeared in The X-Files, Rounders, and 9, and he earned multiple Emmy nominations for his work on Without A Trace.

"Working with Martin Landau on Ed Wood was a joy", she added.

There are some roles that Landau took on in various mediums that could genuinely surprise you - for example, that he voiced the villain Scorpion in the classic 1960's Spider-Man cartoon. Landau said he found himself adrift, reduced to playing heavies in low-budget dreck.

"I told the picture editor I was going into the theater", he told the Los Angeles Times.

He would go on to star in another enormously popular, franchise-spawning television series, Mission: Impossible, for three years. He had more success in TV, playing numerous guest roles in popular shows such as Gunsmoke, The Twilight Zone and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.

"I quit to become an out-of-work actor in NY, and everyone thought I was insane". He also appeared in Sleepy Hollow, Frankenweenie, and the Burton-produced 9. The role of a seemingly decent, venerable man harboring a dark secret became a Landau specialty. Survivors include two daughters: Susan, a writer and producer; and Juliet, an actress.

Like this: