Award-Winning Actor Martin Landau, Known For 'Mission: Impossible,' Dies At 89

by Wade Massey July 19, 2017, 0:09
Award-Winning Actor Martin Landau, Known For 'Mission: Impossible,' Dies At 89

He made his Broadway debut in 1857 in "Middle of the Night" and made his first major film appearance in 1959, as Leonard, right-hand man of a criminal mastermind, in Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest.

GREENE: Actor Martin Landau - he passed away at the age of 89.

In 1994, Landau finally got his Oscar gold for his supporting role as Dracula star Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton's biopic, Ed Wood. The following year, he was nominated for the same Oscar category for portraying philandering ophthalmologist Judah Rosenthal in Woody Allen's Crimes And Misdemeanors (1989). He died July 15 from "unexpected complications" after a brief stay at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, his rep confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.

Landau played master of disguise Rollin Hand in the original TV series of Mission: Impossible, a role that required him to play many types of characters, perfectly showcasing his versatility. His real-life wife, Barbara Bain, also starred in the show. Landau turned down the role of Mr. Spock on Star Trek when he instead chose to act in Mission: Impossible.

MARTIN LANDAU: I started on the New York Daily News as a kid when I was 17 years old as a cartoonist and illustrator.

"I was being groomed to be the theatrical caricaturist".

LANDAU: (As Bela Lugosi) I shall ideal my own race of people, a race of atomic supermen that will conquer the world (laughter). "I knew I wanted to go into the theater".

In the same interview, the alumnus of the prestigious Actors Studio told an NPR listener that he had never had much trouble learning lines because "I think of them as thoughts and ideas" that the character wants to express.

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