Martin Landau Dies, Aged 89

Posted July 18, 2017

The "Ed Wood" star died on Saturday afternoon (July 15th 2017) at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center following "unexpected complications" in relation to the reason he was hospitalized, according to TMZ.

Landau and Bain left the show in 1969, working together again in the cult English sci-fi series Space: 1999 in the mid-70s. Landau won the supporting actor Oscar. 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. He was married for 36 years to his "Mission: Impossible" castmate Barbara Bain.

Landau also famously turned down the role of Mr. Spock in Star Trek - a role which went to Leonard Nimoy, who also replaced the late star on Mission: Impossible.

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The Academy recognized his layered performance with a nomination, as did Woody Allen, who quickly cast him in another Oscar-nominated role, as an amoral ophthalmologist in 1989's Crimes and Misdemeanors.

One of the iconic actors who helped make the original Mission Impossible so good, Martin Landau, has died at age 89. But his career and performances were far from workmanlike: Landau made his mark on Hollywood early, and sustained and expanded it through intense dedication and preparation.

Landau was born on June 28, 1928, in Brooklyn and worked as a cartoonist for the New York Daily News before becoming an actor.

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The veteran actor rose to prominence after playing a homosexual henchman in Alfred Hitchcock's 1959 film "North by Northwest". In one of the series' most celebrated episodes, "The Mind of Stefan Miklos", Landau impersonated two different men as part of a sting-like operation, showcasing his skill at creating two distinct characters through physicality alone, no makeup or prosthetics necessary.

Landau's career picked up when he got a recurring role on the NBC comedy "Buffalo Bill", in which Dabney Coleman starred.

During the 1960s, he had character roles in "The Greatest Story Ever Told", "Nevada Smith" and "The Hallelujah Trail". They divorced in 1993. "So I quit", Landau said.

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It was in this drama that he was discovered by Hitchcock, who cast him as a killer, who falls to his death off Mount Rushmore, in North by Northwest.