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Martin Landau Dies, Aged 89

17 July 2017

American film and television actor Martin Landau has died at the age of 89.

Landau died at UCLA Medical Centre in Los Angeles from unexpected complications during a short hospitalization for an undisclosed illness, publicist Dick Guttman said in a statement.

Martin Landau was the handsome, intelligent, reflective actor who was respected for first-class work in the theatre, and for his consistency and professionalism in films and TV in the 60s and 70s. He won the Oscar for the "Ed Wood" role.

"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. Photo shows Landau at work in the Daily News Art Dept in 1951.

For years, Landau was a director of the Actors Studio's West Coast branch, where Jack Nicholson and Harry Dean Stanton were among his earliest students. 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). That would be the part of Rollin Hand in TV's Mission: Impossible. In the series, Landau starred alongside then-wife Barbara Bain.

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

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Landau's career picked up when he got a recurring role on the NBC comedy "Buffalo Bill", in which Dabney Coleman starred.

"Ed Wood", starring Martin Landau and Johnny Depp.

Before being cast in "Mission: Impossible", Landau also appeared in "Cleopatra" (1963), as a loyal Roman soldier, and "The Greatest Story Ever Told" (1965), as the Jewish high priest Caiaphas.

Landau also had the major role of Judah Rosenthal in Woody Allen's 1989 movie, "Crimes and Misdemeanors", for which he earned another Oscar nod for best supporting actor. Accolades continued to roll in during the decade of the 2000s, with Primetime Emmy nominations for guest spots in Without a Trace and Entourage.

Landau and Bain were married from 1957 to 1993.

"Working with Martin Landau on Ed Wood was a joy", she added. Survivors include two daughters: writer and producer Susie Landau Finch and actress Juliet Landau; a sister; and a granddaughter.

Martin Landau Dies, Aged 89