Oscar Winner Martin Landau Passes Away at 89

Ed Wood and Mission Impossible star Martin Landau dead aged 89

Martin Landau displays the Oscar in 1995

He also starred in sci-fi series "Space: 1999", in which he co-starred with then-wife Barbara Bain. The very next year came a second nomination, for 1989's Crimes and Misdemeanors. Landau won the Oscar and a slew of other prestigious awards for "Ed Wood", in which he played legendary horror actor Bela Lugosi. 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.

The prolific actor's most notable credits included the "Mission: Impossible" television series, Alfred Hitchcock's classic film "North by Northwest", and his role in "Ed Wood", for which he won an Oscar.

Born into a Jewish family in New York City in 1928, Landau found work at age 17 as a cartoonist for the New York Daily News. "What could I do?" he later lamented.

Landau is also remembered for a role he did not take. He was "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry's first pick to portray pointy-eared Vulcan Mr. Spock, an iconic role that eventually went to Leonard Nimoy.

Landau starred in Cleopatra, The Greatest Story Ever Told and Nevada Smith, before joining the cast of TV's Mission:Impossible. Landau stayed with the series for three years, through 1969, drawing Emmy nominations three years in a row.

Like Depp, Landau would become part of Burton's repertory company, appearing in such Burton projects as Sleepy Hollow, 9, and Frankenweenie. A widely acknowledged nadir was the TV film "The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island" (1981). He was married to co-star Bain from 1957 until their divorce in 1993.

He remained active in the acting community until his death and was artistic director of the Actor's Studio, a post he shared with director Mark Rydell and, previously, Sydney Pollack. The film revolves around Wood's life when he made his best-known films as well as his relationship with actor Bela Lugosi. In 1968, Landau took the Golden Globe award as best male television star.

Oscar victor Martin Landau has died, aged 89. More recently, the actor had recurring roles on TV shows like Entourage and Without a Trace. His last completed film was The Last Poker Game, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year.

He made his Broadway debut in Paddy Chayefsky's Middle of the Night alongside his idol, Robinson.

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