Oscar-Winner Martin Landau Has Passed Away

Aaron Brown
July 18, 2017

Landau won the Oscar and a slew of other prestigious awards for "Ed Wood", in which he played legendary horror actor Bela Lugosi.

The "Ed Wood" star died on Saturday afternoon (July 15th 2017) at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center following "unexpected complications" in relation to the reason he was hospitalized, according to TMZ.

The tall, lanky Landau also was nominated for Oscars as best supporting actor for his role as a visionary vehicle maker's partner in Coppola's 1988 Tucker: The Man and His Dream - the role that revived his career - and as a man who kills his mistress in Allen's 1989 Crimes and Misdemeanors.

He went on to star in the television series Mission: Impossible and famously turned down the part of Mr Spock in Star Trek. "Star Trek" creator Gene Rodenberry had offered him the half-Vulcan, half-human who attempts to rid his life of all emotion.

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

"There was a 10-year period when everything I did was bad". "Back then, movie directors felt that audiences wouldn't pay to see somebody they could see for free on TV", Landau said in 1994. "Despite the trash, he had a certain dignity about him, whatever the role".

In a 2016 interview with The Washington Times, Landau explained what he thought of acting in the 21st century.

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He worked at The Daily News in NY for five years, illustrating "Pitching Horseshoes", a column written by impresario Billy Rose, and assisting Gus Edson with the comic strip "The Gumps".

Landau received a cartoonist job at the New York Daily News but quit after five years to pursue his dream of acting. But it was the 1966 TV show "Mission: Impossible', which helped him make a mark in the industry".

The veteran of the Actors Studio, for which he was West Coast co-artistic director, had many ups and downs in his career. They had two daughters, Susan and Juliet, and divorced in 1993.

Since then, Landau had worked steadily in film, including starring opposite Paul Sorvino in "The Last Poker Game", which premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival in NY.

More recently, Landau starred in Remember (2015) with Christopher Plummer and The Red Maple Leaf (2016) with Kris Kristofferson and James Caan.

A documentary titled "An Actor's Actor: The Life of Martin Landau" is also now being prepared.

After winning the Oscar in March 1995, Landau gushed, "My God!"

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