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We are saddened to report that the great Martin Landau, the Oscar-winning Ed Wood actor who appeared in Crimes & Misdemeanors, North by Northwest and the Mission: Impossible TV series over a career that spanned over 50 years, died Saturday at the age of 89.

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Landau died around 1:30 PT on Saturday following “unexpected complications” while he was hospitalized at UCLA Medical Center.


His career began in the 1950s, with early film appearances including a supporting role in Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest (1959). 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.

Landau got his start as a newspaper cartoonist at the New York Daily News, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 17 when he began at the news outlet, and quit five years later to pursue an acting career after turning down a promotion.

A steady string of film and TV roles would follow before Landau – who infamously turned down the Spock role on Star Trek – would be cast as “master of disguise” Rollin Hand for four seasons of Mission: Impossible, where the actor met his wife, actress Barbara Bain. The couple divorced in 1993.


Inspired by his own time in the Actors Studio, Landau himself became an acting teacher, with Jack Nicholson notably one of his pupils. Landau was also a friend of James Dean and a one-time boyfriend of Marilyn Monroe, the Hollywood Reporter writes.

After appearing in the sci-fi series Space: 1999 with Bain for two seasons in the mid-Seventies, Landau saw his career lull for a decade until Francis Ford Coppola cast the actor in 1988’s Tucker: The Man and His Dream, which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Thanks to Tucker, Landau was soon cast by Woody Allen to play one of the leads in the director’s 1989 masterpiece Crimes and Misdemeanors, with Landau again nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for the role.


Five years later, Landau would finally win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his brilliant portrayal of washed-up Dracula actor Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton’s Ed Wood.

The beloved actor got his start on-screen in the 1950s. TMZ reported he appeared in almost 200 films and television shows and “worked until his death.”

The legendary actor dated Marilyn Monroe for several months and was best friends with James Dean in the 1950s.

Landau, who was born in Brooklyn, is survived by two daughters from his marriage with “Mission: Impossible” co-star Barbara Bain.

Wow. Rest in peace my friend and thanks for the memories…

God Bless.

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