Academy Award-winning actor Martin Landau dead at 89

We lost two horror heroes this weekend- Martin Landau on Saturday and George A. Romero on Sunday

We lost two horror heroes this weekend- Martin Landau on Saturday and George A. Romero on Sunday

Martin Landau, the actor whose gaunt, hangdog features graced films by film-makers as varied as Alfred Hitchcock, Woody Allen and Tim Burton has died. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor "died Saturday of "unexpected complications" after a brief stay at UCLA Medical Center".

Born in Brooklyn in 1928, Landau started out as a newspaper cartoonist before joining Hollywood in the '50s. So great in CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS, ED WOOD.

On "Mission: Impossible" Landau played the master of disguise, Rollin Hand.

"Oh, "Tucker" resurrected me", Landau told the London Guardian. He would go on to have a varied career that saw him easily move between film and television roles at a time when not many other actors did. I was being offered, you know, professional bad guys in the evil business, total comic-strip stuff. But by 1981 the good parts had grown hard to find for both Landau and Bain; that year, in what he later acknowledged was a low point, they appeared in the TV movie "The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island". "There was a lot of pain, a lot of angst", he told The New Yorker in 1995.

Martin Landau spent the next two decades struggling to find worthy roles, and appeared in a large number of genre motion pictures and television series, notably the motion picture thrillers Alone in the Dark and Without Warning, and the sci-fi show Space: 1999. "Trust has to be attained", Landau said.

The former Broadway performer was also a renowned coach at Lee Strasberg's Actors Studio, where he and Steve McQueen were the only ones accepted out of 2,000 applicants to study in 1955. The one show he did not star in, though, was Star Trek. "When I got Tucker I thought, "Thank God, a human being". His most recent appearances have been in Without a Trace, Entourage, Remember, The Last Poker Game, and a Lifetime biopic about sex symbol Anna Nicole Smith. After a few years, though, he abruptly quit his job to follow his dream and become a theatrical actor, something he recognized many years later as a "crazy" idea. Survivors include two daughters: Susan, a writer and producer; and Juliet, an actress.

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