Thursday, 27 July, 2017

Martin Landau, character actor, dies at 89

Martin Landau leaves behind two daughters Martin Landau leaves behind two daughters
Freda Brock | 17 July, 2017, 16:24

Actor Martin Landau has died at the age of 89, The Hollywood Reporter announces.

"We are overcome with sadness to report the death of iconic actor Martin Landau", a statement said.

Landau's film debut was in 1959's "Pork Chop Hill" starring Gregory Peck, but his first big splash, that same year, was as a menacing henchman in the Alfred Hitchcock classic "North by Northwest", starring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint. "Ed Wood" featured Johnny Depp as legendary filmmaker Ed Wood.

It's fitting that Martin Landau played master of disguise Rollin Hand on the old Mission: Impossible series.

"Oh, "Tucker" resurrected me", Landau told the London Guardian.

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Later in his career, Landau played characters on TV show Entrourage and had just shot a role in the Cory Cataldo's Without Ward. "I will miss his work".

His film roles ranged from the grand to the quirky, from "Cleopatra" to "The Greatest Story Ever Told". The TV show also starred Landau's wife, Barbara Bain. His win also marked a historical Academy Award moment as he pounded his fists on the podium and yelled "NO!" when the orchestra started to cut his speech short, not allowing him to dedicate the award to Lugosi. Landau finally won the statuette five years later at the third time of asking for Ed Wood. "Trust has to be attained", Landau said.

Landau went on to teach a number of next-generation actors the craft as a coach at the Actors Studio.

He also gained some measure of fame among Star Trek fans for a role he didn't play, pointy-eared starship Enterprise science officer, Mr. Spock. Accolades continued to roll in during the decade of the 2000s, with Primetime Emmy nominations for guest spots in Without a Trace and Entourage. "When I got Tucker I thought, "Thank God, a human being". But what specifically was Landau most famous for?

During the 1970s, the couple moved to England to get work and landed the lead roles in "Space: 1999", an adventure drama about a moon-base crew who get into strife when an explosion sends the moon out of Earth's orbit and into deep space. 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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