News Worms
News Worms


Oscar Winner Martin Landau Dies at 89

Oscar Winner Martin Landau Dies at 89

Landau died of "unexpected complications" on Saturday during a brief spell in a Los Angeles hospital, his publicist Dick Guttman said. "He had just celebrated his 89th birthday". His career started in the 1950s, with early appearances like a role in Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest in 1950.

Although he had previously been nominated for an Oscar, Landau broke through and won the golden statue for his best supporting actor portrayal of horror movie legend Bela Lugosi in the 1994 film, "Ed Wood", directed by Tim Burton.

Landau was born June 28, 1928, in Brooklyn and worked as a cartoonist for the New York Daily News before becoming an actor, according to the Internet Movie Database.

On Broadway, Landau won praise for his work in Middle of the Night, which starred Edward G. Robinson. Then he drew attention for his role in "North by Northwest".

He famously turned down the role of Mr Spock in "Star Trek", which went to his close friend Leonard Nimoy instead. It would've been torturous. I mean, I always thought it looked like a piano.

"If I was an opera singer or a ballet dancer, I probably wouldn't be able to do that any longer, but being an actor playing old guys is kind of a gift", Landau told the Star, a South African publication. And I know if I got that job, I'd never quit. "Who wants to do that?" He attended Tribeca Film Festival in NY last spring, where his upcoming movie with Paul Sorvino, The Last Poker Game, was screened. "He took me under wing", Jones wrote. It's not something that someone at his age would get to play again.

After a dry spell his career roared back to life in the late 1980s when Francis Ford Coppola cast him in "Tucker: The Man and His Dream".

He remained active in the acting community until his death and was artistic director of the Actor's Studio, a post he shared with director Mark Rydell and, previously, Sydney Pollack.

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

He is survived by his two daughters, a granddaughter and one sister.

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