Martin Landau first became wildly popular for his role as Rollin Hand, the “Man of a Million Faces” sleuth on the 1960s hit series “Mission: Impossible.”
Landau, who was not meant to be a regular on the show, became so popular that he went on to receive Emmy nominations for each of the three seasons in which he appeared, and in 1968 won a Golden Globe for male TV star.
Landau had another hit television performance in “Space: 1999” (1975), playing the memorable Commander John Koenig, the last commander of Moonbase Alpha. His then-wife, Barbara Bain, starred as Dr. Helena Russell; she was also in “Mission: Impossible.”
Landau began his career as a newspaperman at age 17, working for five years at the New York Daily News as a staff cartoonist and illustrator.
Switching to theater, Landau auditioned with 2,000 other actors for Lee Strasberg’s prestigious Actors Studio in 1955. Only he and Steve McQueen were accepted.
He made his film debut in “Pork Chop Hill” (1959), but few can forget Landau as Leonard, the villainous henchman stalking Cary Grant in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic “North by Northwest” (1959).
Landau went on to play numerous roles in film, including the wheeler-dealer Abe Karatz in Francis Ford Coppola’s “Tucker: The Man and His Dream” (1988), for which Landau was nominated for an Oscar and won a Golden Globe for supporting actor.
The next year, he was lauded for his role as the philandering Judah Rosenthal in Woody Allen’s “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (1989) and was nominated for his second consecutive supporting actor Oscar.
Later in his career, Landau again stole the screen as Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton’s “Ed Wood” (1994), for which he finally won the supporting actor Oscar and his third Golden Globe Award. He received top honors from the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Society of Film Critics for his performance.
Landau died July 15, 2107 at UCLA Medical Center. He was 89
|1988||Best Supporting Actor||Tucker: The Man and His Dream||Nomination|
|1989||Best Supporting Actor||Crimes and Misdemeanors||Nomination|
|1994||Best Supporting Actor||Ed Wood||Win|