Oscar Winner Martin Landau Dies At Age 89

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

Dead at 89

Following the news, figures from Hollywood paid tribute to the actor on social media.

The US star passed away on Saturday in Los Angeles following "unexpected complications" after a short hospitalisation, his publicist confirmed.

Landau's film debut was in 1959's "Pork Chop Hill" starring Gregory Peck, but his first big splash, that same year, was as a menacing henchman in the Alfred Hitchcock classic "North by Northwest", starring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint.

He was Emmy-nominated five times, and most of his leading man roles came on television, most notably as Rollin Hand, a master of disguise on "Mission: Impossible".

Landau's Oscar and Golden Globe wins in 1995 temporarily boosted his career.

"It's impossible to overestimate the job that Landau does here as this sepulchral Hungarian", Washington Post critic Hal Hinson wrote in his review of the 1994 film. Nicholson once credited his acting abilities to Landau. Landau would ultimately be instrumental in opening a West Coast branch of the Studio, and he'd continue teaching for the rest of his life. He claimed that he and Steve McQueen were the only two among 2,000 applicants whose auditions gained them admittance to the Actors Studio (of which Landau later became an officer).

Nimoy then replaced Landau on "Mission: Impossible" when he left in a salary dispute.

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". I played more things, had more fun and", he told journalist Tim Teeman.

The Oscar chiseled Landau was in the pantheon of great character actors, and performances in Rounders (1998), The Majestic (2001), and a sublime cameo on HBO's Entourage (2006) showcased his seemingly effortless ability to steal the show with just a few scenes.

Landau's acting career started in the 1950's and he received the Golden Globe Award and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in 1998's Tucker: The Man and His Dream.

Landau also is remembered for a role he did not get.

So did the New York-born Landau, who had studied drawing at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and worked for a time as a New York Daily News cartoonist before switching careers at age 22. He won an Oscar for his role as Bela Lugosi. He is also survived by Bain, with whom he was married until 1993.

Landau also portrayed a space commander John Koenig in the 1970s TV series, "Space 1999", in which Landau again played opposite his "Mission Impossible" co-star and former wife, Barbara Bain.

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