Martin Landau, Oscar Winner and ‘Mission: Impossible’ Star, Dead at 89

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Martin Landau, an Oscar winner for his supporting role in Tim Burton’s “Ed Wood” (1994), has died at 89, THR reports.

In a statement, his rep confirmed Landau died unexpectedly Saturday.

The statement read, “We are overcome with sadness to report the death of iconic actor Martin Landau on July 15, 2017, at 1:30 p.m. at UCLA Medical Center, where he succumbed to unexpected complications during a short hospitalization. He had just celebrated his 89th birthday.”

Landau had been described as a “guiding force” in the Actors Studio for over 60 years, and was serving as Artistic Director of Actors Studio West at the time of his death.

Landau on “Mission: Impossible,” surrounded by co-stars (clockwise from lower left) Peter Graves, Greg Morris, Peter Lupus & Barbara Bain

A familiar face on TV, Landau played Rollin Hand on the hit series “Mission: Impossible” from 1966-1969, winning a Golden Globe Award and receiving Emmy nominations each season. He left the show, which also starred his wife Barbara Bain, in a contract dispute.

He played Commander John Koenig (again opposite Bain) on the cult hit “Space: 1999,” a British series, from 1975-1977. He received another three Emmy nominations, for his work on “Without a Trace” in 2004 and 2005, and for “Entourage” in 2007.

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Landau in “Space: 1999”

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.

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Memorably good playing memorably bad in “North by Northwest”

Other early film highlights include appearances in the epics “Cleopatra” (1963) with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, and “The Greatest Story Ever Told” (1965).

Landau’s film career was reignited by his Oscar-nominated performance in “Tucker: The Man and His Dream” (1988). The following year, he turned in a second Oscar-nominated performance, in Woody Allen’s “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (1989). Landau won the Oscar and a slew of other prestigious awards for “Ed Wood,” in which he played legendary horror actor Bela Lugosi.

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Winning the Oscar along with (L-R) Dianne Weist, Jessica Lange & Tom Hanks

Since then, Landau had worked steadily in film, including starring opposite Paul Sorvino in “The Last Poker Game,” which premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

Landau was a regular fixture at autograph conventions, and was happy to appear at events to speak about his work.

He is survived by his two daughters, a granddaughter and one sister.

Landau’s rep notes that donations may be made to The Actors Studio West.



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