Martin Landau's Hospital Stay Ends In Tragedy

The Academy recognized his layered performance with a nomination, as did Woody Allen, who quickly cast him in another Oscar-nominated role, as an amoral ophthalmologist in 1989's Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Immediately recognizable for his tall, lean frame and expressive face, Landau had a prolific career that saw him appear in movies ranging from studio epics to schlock horror films, and it's hard to name a procedural television show from the '60s and '70s that he didn't pop up on at some point.

Actor Martin Landau arriving at the AARP Magazine 10th Annual Movies For Grownups Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., Feb. 7, 2011.

In 1955, he auditioned for Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio (choosing a scene from Clifford Odets' Clash by Night against the advice of friends), and he and Steve McQueen were the only new students accepted that year out of the 2,000-plus aspirants who had applied. During the mid-1970s and 80s, Landau's Hollywood shine had dimmed considerably. A gifted mimic trained in method acting, Landau had thoroughly researched the role. Star Trek creator Gene Rodenberry had offered him the role, but Landau turned it down.

Landau's career began in the 1950s, with early film appearances including a supporting role in Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest (1959).

In 1994, Landau played Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton's "Ed Wood".

It was the role of master of disguise Rollin Hand on Mission: Impossible that propelled Landau to stardom.

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Martin Landau, who won an Oscar for playing Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton's 1994 film Ed Wood, died Saturday at 89.

Landau studied theater in NY at The Actor's Studio.

"I think if they don't like what I'm doing, they'll say something", he told the Los Angeles Times. The mark of a truly talented performer is their ability to make a small role memorable, and that's exactly what Landau did here.

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.

He was married to his Mission: Impossible co-star Barbara Bain from 1957 until their divorce in 1993.

Landau proved through the course of his career that he could perform any role handed to him. Surviving Landau are his daughters, Susan Landau Finch and Juliet Rose Landau, both of whom are from his marriage to Bain, and both of whom followed their father into film and television.


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