Oscar-winning actor Martin Landau Dies, Aged 89

Martin Landau

Martin Landau, a man who brought memorable characters to life on film and TV, and taught others to do the same, has died. He was 89.

Born in Brooklyn in 1928, Landau studied at the Pratt Institute before initially finding full-time work as a cartoonist for the New York Daily News during the 1940s and 1950s. But, driven by a love for Charlie Chaplin and the escapism of the cinema, Landau pursued an acting career, attending the Actors Studio and starting to work on Broadway.

On TV, Landau enjoyed a long run of guest spots on TV series, but truly made his name with a few, including Mission: Impossible and Space: 1999.

His cinema career was no less storied. After a small role in 1959's Pork Chop Hill, Landau scored a role in Alfred Hitchcock's North By Northwest and went to appear in a wide variety of movies, including Cleopatra, The Greatest Story Ever Told, A Town Called Hell, Treasure Island, Tucker: The Man And His Dream, Crimes And Misdemeanors, Sleepy Hollow, The Majestic and the animated version of Frankenweenie.

Though his career faced ups and downs, he was nominated for an Oscar three times, winning Best Supporting Actor for Ed Wood. And he also parlayed his experiences with the Actors Studio into helping others learn the art.

Landau is survived by two daughters, writer-producer-casting director Susan Finch and actor Juliet, a sister and a granddaughter.