RIP Martin Landau, Oscar-winning actor

Jul 18, 2017, 00:07
RIP Martin Landau, Oscar-winning actor

Crimes and Misdemeanors earned Martin Landau his second Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor, an award he would finally win for his iconic performance as an aging, drug-addicted, foul-mouthed Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton's celebrated drama Ed Wood. Among his credits are Alfred Hitchcock's "North by Northwest", Tim Burton's "Ed Wood" and "Cleopatra".

According to IMDb, Landau was nominated for Emmy awards for each of the three seasons of the show, and in 1968 he won the Golden Globe for best male TV star.

Landau, 89, died on Saturday of unexpected complications during a short stay at a Los Angeles hospital for an undisclosed illness, his publicist Dick Guttman said.

Landau was named best supporting actor for his portrayal in Ed Wood of the fading, morphine-addicted Hungarian horrormeister Lugosi, star of Dracula.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1928, Landau began his creative career as a cartoonist for the New York Daily News at age 17, but gave up the work five years later to concentrate on theater. He leaves behind his ex-wife and former Mission Impossible co-star.

Immediately recognizable for his tall, lean frame and expressive face, Landau had a prolific career that saw him appear in movies ranging from studio epics to schlock horror films, and it's hard to name a procedural television show from the '60s and '70s that he didn't pop up on at some point.

Landau - victor of the OScar for his supporting role as Bela Lugosi in the 1994 cult film "Ed Wood" - rose to fame playing a killer in Alfred Hitchcock's classic 1959 tale of intrigue, "North by Northwest". Landau said he doesn't regret it however, saying "Lenny (Nimoy) was better suited for" the role. "Star Trek" creator Gene Rodenberry had offered him the half-Vulcan, half-human who attempts to rid his life of all emotion.

Interviews with the New York Times in the 1990s reflected his early years as an actor.

More recently, Landau earned Emmy noms for playing the father of Anthony LaPaglia's character on CBS' Without a Trace and guest-starring as an out-of-touch movie producer on HBO's Entourage. He attended Tribeca Film Festival in NY last spring, where his upcoming movie with Paul Sorvino, The Last Poker Game, was screened.

Landau later received Oscar nominations for his turn in Francis Ford Coppola's 1988 film, "Tucker: The Man and His Dream", and Woody Allen's "Crimes and Misdemeanors" the following year.

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