Martin Landau, Oscar Winner for 'Ed Wood,' Dies at 89
The tall, lanky Landau also was nominated for Oscars as best supporting actor for his role as a visionary auto maker's partner in Coppola's 1988 Tucker: The Man and His Dream - the role that revived his career - and as a man who kills his mistress in Allen's 1989 Crimes and Misdemeanors. He appeared in almost 200 films and TV shows during his illustrious career and worked until his death. The comeback role led to Landau's first Oscar nomination for best supporting actor, though he lost to Kevin Kline's knockout comic turn in A Fish Called Wanda.
Normality for Landau meant he never became a Hollywood A-lister, but he saw a benefit in not being a highly sought-after actor. Nicholson once credited his acting abilities to Landau. Landau could have landed another major role in an illustrious series, Star Trek, but he ultimately said no.
Landau appeared in cult Alfred Hitchcock movie North by Northwest - his first film role in 1959, Cleopatra, The Greatest Story Ever Told, and Nevada Smith, but he made his name on TV in the series Mission: Impossible and Space: 1999.
The man who would eventually star in Mission: Impossible and Ed Wood began his career as a cartoonist for the New York Daily News, but eventually segued into acting, attending the famed Actors Studio with James Dean and Steve McQueen.
A documentary entitled An Actor's Actor: The Life of Martin Landau is now in the works. Landau said he doesn't regret it however, saying "Lenny (Nimoy) was better suited for" the role.
His third nomination was for "Ed Wood", director Tim Burton's affectionate tribute to a man widely viewed as the worst Hollywood filmmaker of all time.
Over the next 20 years, Landau would appear in films like The X-Files, Rounders, EDtv and The Majestic as well as reoccurring roles on Without a Trace and Entourage; Landau netted Emmy nominations for Outstanding Guest Actor for the latter two television roles.
Academy Award-Winning Actor Martin Landau, known for his leading roles in North By Northwest and the 1960s Mission: Impossible TV series, has died. The mark of a truly talented performer is their ability to make a small role memorable, and that's exactly what Landau did here.
Landau is survived by daughters Susie, a writer and producer, and Juliet, an actress and dancer. Or I was getting up to bat and no one was pitching to me.