WASHINGTON – Martin Landau, the US actor best known for his performances in films such as “North by Northwest” and “Ed Wood,” and for the television series “Mission: Impossible,” has died at the age of 89, his representative confirmed on Sunday.
The Oscar-winning actor and serial nominee passed away on Saturday of “unexpected complications” after briefly being hospitalized at a University of California medical center.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, on June 20, 1928, Landau worked as a cartoonist at the New York Daily News before starting his acting career in the 1950s.
He made his Broadway debut in 1957 and made his first appearance in a major film in 1959 in Alfred Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest.”
In addition to his role as Rollin Hand in the television series “Mission: Impossible,” in which he starred together with his then wife, Barbara Bain, Landau is also remembered for his performances in “Tucker: The Man and His Dream” (1988), directed by Francis Ford Coppola, and “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (1989), by Woody Allen, among others.
After winning a Golden Globe in 1968 for “Mission: Impossible,” Landau spent another two decades taking parts in Coppola’s films.
It was his portrayal of supporting character Bela Lugosi in the Tim Burton film “Ed Wood” (1994) that finally earned him an Oscar after several nominations.
Landau leaves behind two daughters, Susan and Juliet.