Martin Landau, who starred in the 60s TV show Mission: Impossible and won an Oscar for playing Bela Lugosi in the movie Ed Wood, died on Saturday. His publicist Dick Guttman released the news Sunday night in a statement,
Landau died at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles following
“unexpected complications during a short hospitalization.”
Landau worked as a cartoonist for the New York Daily News before becoming an actor and in 1957 he landed a part in a play, Middle of the Night, with Edward G. Robinson.
His first big movie role was in Hitchcock‘s North by Northwest but Landau’s big break was playing master of disguise Rollin Hand for a top-secret spy team in the 60s series Mission: Impossible, in which his then-wife Barbara Bain also starred. In 1969. Landau and Bain both left the series in a salary dispute and his career suffered.
But over his long career he was nominated for three Academy Awards for best supporting actor, in Francis Coppola‘s Tucker in 1988; in Woody Allen‘s Crimes and Misdemeanors in 1989; and as the aging horror movie star and heroin addict, Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton‘s Ed Wood in 1994. He won the Oscar for Ed Wood.
Near the end of his career, he played Bob Ryan, an aging movie producer in the HBO series Entourage. His catchphrase was
“would that be something you’d be interested in?”
Funeral services will be private and a memorial service will be held in August or September.
Martin Landau was 89.