Famed actor Martin Landau dead at 89

Martin Landau, Oscar Winner for 'Ed Wood,' Dies at 89

Years later, he taught at the group's second location, in West Hollywood, CA, the Actors Studio West. Over his seven decade career, Landau appeared in hundreds of projects.

However, roles in "A Town Called Hell", "Operation Snafu" and another villain role in "They Call Me Mister Tibbs" didn't result in major acclaim.

Although he had previously been nominated for an Oscar, Landau broke through and won the golden statue for his best supporting actor portrayal of horror movie legend Bela Lugosi in the 1994 film, "Ed Wood", directed by Tim Burton.

But as accomplished and talented as he was, Landau wasn't afraid to poke fun at himself and Hollywood.

"Star Trek" creator Gene Rodenberry had offered him the role, but Landau turned it down. Landau won the supporting actor Oscar. He played regular roles in the television series Mission: Impossible (for which he received several Emmy Award nominations and a Golden Globe Award) and Space: 1999.

Actor Martin Landau arriving at the AARP Magazine 10th Annual Movies For Grownups Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., Feb. 7, 2011.

Landau and Bain left the series in 1969 in a salary dispute. A gifted mimic trained in method acting, Landau had thoroughly researched the role. "He had more success in television, where he appeared in numerous guest roles on popular shows such as "Gunsmoke",'The Twilight Zone" and "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour".

In a 2016 interview with The Washington Times, Landau explained what he thought of acting in the 21st century.

Landau was born in Brooklyn in 1928 and gave up his job as a New York Daily News cartoonist to become an actor in his early 20s. They divorced in 1993.

In 1955, he was among hundreds who applied to study at the prestigious Actors Studio and one of only two selected. Landau was Commander John Koenig, and just as in Mission: Impossible, he starred with his wife, Barbara Bain. Then he drew attention for his role in "North by Northwest".

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