Martin Landau, star of Ed Wood and Mission: Impossible, dies

Martin Landau, star of Ed Wood and Mission: Impossible, dies

The third time proved to be the charm, as Landau won a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award and an Oscar for his memorable turn as Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood in 1994.

As per the statement from his publicist Dick Guttman, Landau died at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles following "unexpected complications during a short hospitalization,".

"There was a 10-year period when everything I did was bad. Obviously, if you can do that part I saw you do in the theater, you can do this little trinket".

A documentary titled "An Actor's Actor: The Life of Martin Landau" is also now being prepared.

At age 17 he began a five-year stint working as a cartoonist for the New York Daily News, and then quit his job to enter the Actors Studio at age 22.

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Landau broke into films in 1959 with a small role in Korean war drama Pork Chop Hill and a larger one in Hitchcock's big-budget thriller North by Northwest; in the latter he plays James Mason's creepy henchman who chases Cary Grant during the celebrated Mount Rushmore finale. The film debuted at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival. "People thought I was nuts to play the character gay, which wasn't originally written that way".

Landau was named best supporting actor for his portrayal in "Ed Wood" of the fading, morphine-addicted Hungarian horrormeister Lugosi, star of "Dracula". His career continued upward in the 1960s with prominent roles alongside Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in Cleopatra (1963) and supporting Max von Sydow and Charlton Heston in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965).

Later on, in the 1970s, Landau worked in the science-fiction series Space: 1999.

His director, Howard Weiner, told WENN, "Martin asked a lot of questions and wanted to know if he was going to have to take off his shirt, which he doesn't, but he's an unbelievable actor and I established trust with him and he was game". (He was also nominated three times for "Mission: Impossible", although he never won an Emmy.) In 2015 he appeared in the "Entourage" movie. Nicholson once credited his acting abilities to Landau. They divorced in 1993 and had two children together. He is survived by his daughters Susie and Juliet from his marriage to Bain, sister Elinor, granddaughter Aria and godson Dylan. "There was a lot of pain, a lot of angst", he told The New Yorker in 1995. "Before that I did several films that should be turned into toothpicks". "In a well-written script, the dialogue ... is what [characters] are willing to share", Landau said in 2001.

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