Martin Landau, 'Ed Wood' Oscar victor, dies at 89

Posted July 17, 2017

Just hours after the death of George A. Romero was announced, the news broke that Oscar-winning actor Martin Landau had died in hospital in Los Angeles.

"We are overcome with sadness to report the death of iconic actor Martin Landau on July 15th, 2017 at 1.30pm at UCLA Medical Center, where he succumbed to unexpected complications during a short hospitalisation", the rep says.

Martin Landau, an Oscar victor for his supporting role in Tim Burton's "Ed Wood" (1994), has died at 89, THR reports.

Landau finally won the coveted award from his role in Tim Burton's Ed Wood in 1994, playing aging horror star Lugosi.

The five times Emmy-nominated actor mostly got leading man roles on the small screen, most notably as Rollin Hand, a master of disguise on "Mission: Impossible". As Karatz, Landau received a best supporting actor nomination.

Orlando Jones posted a portrait Landau drew for him.

The lanky, offbeat-looking veteran of the Actors Studio, for he which he was now West Coast co-artistic director, had many ups and downs in his career.

In addition to Mission Impossible, his TV credits included The Simpsons, Entourage, Without a Trace and Columbo. After the show's third season he and Barbara Bain, his wife and co-star, left because of a contractual dispute.

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'I would've probably died playing that role.

"When I was growing up, every impressionist did bad Bela Lugosi imitations - "I want to drink your blood" - and I realized this was a field with tiger traps throughout", Landau told critic Roger Ebert, "and I had to walk carefully".

Mr. Landau's career started in the 1950's and continued with numerous guest appearances on television shows, including The Twilight Zone, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and Columbo.

The man who would eventually star in Mission: Impossible and Ed Wood began his career as a cartoonist for the New York Daily News, but eventually segued into acting, attending the famed Actors Studio with James Dean and Steve McQueen. It brought him an Oscar nomination for the second year in a row.

Landau portrayed washed-up Dracula actor Bela Lugosi in his final years, alongside Johnny Depp, Bill Murray and Sarah Jessica Parker.

"I realized that if I got that job (as a caricaturist) I'd never quit, so I quit", Landau said. They had two daughters: actress Juliet Landau and filmmaker Susan Landau Finch.

Laundau and Bain divorced in 1993.