Hollywood lost another legend this past Saturday as Academy Award-winning actor Martin Landau passed away at the age of 89.
The instantly recognizable face of Landau graced screens both big and small over a career than spanned seven decades. He won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar at the 1995 Academy Awards for his role as Bela Lugosi in the 1994 Ed Burton film “Ed Wood.”
Landau starred or guest starred in 62 different television series over his career, including “Mission Impossible,” “Gunsmoke” and his very underrated Emmy-nominated role as Bob Ryan in the more recent HBO series “Entourage.”
If there is one thing Landau did during his 64-year career, it was constantly working.
As an actor, Landau has 177 total credits to his name, according to the Internet Movie Database.
Some of his big screen credits include:
- North by Northwest (1959)
- Cleopatra (1963)
- The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
- They Call Me Mister Tibbs! (1970)
- Treasure Island (1985)
- Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988)
- Ed Wood (1994)
- Rounders (1998)
- The Majestic (2001)
The New York Times reported on Landau’s early life:
Martin Landau was born on June 20, 1928, in Brooklyn, the son of Morris Landau, a machinist, and the former Selma Buchanan. He attended James Madison High School and Pratt Institute, and originally planned to be an illustrator.
He worked at The Daily News in New York for five years, illustrating “Pitching Horseshoes,” a column written by the impresario Billy Rose, and assisting Gus Edson with the comic strip “The Gumps.” He eventually quit to pursue a career in the theater.
Despite some of the ups and downs of Landau’s legendary career, it was still probably a pretty good decision to quit being an illustrator and join the acting ranks instead.
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