Ed Wood and Mission: Impossible star Martin Landau dead aged 89

Martin Landau, Oscar Winner for 'Ed Wood,' Dies at 89

Landau's unexpected appearance in that film led to his work in Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors the following year, and he earned back-to-back Supporting Actor Oscar nominations for the two roles. The show became a hit and Landau agreed to continue the series on a year-by-year basis so as not to interfere with his film career.

Landau's career slowed somewhat in the 1970s, with sporadic television guest roles and parts in mostly forgettable movies sprinkled throughout the decade.

"In size and dimension, it's probably the best role I've had since 'Cleopatra, ' and my 10 best scenes in "Cleopatra" weren't in the movie", he told The New York Times.

Landau was the master of disguise in his role as Rollin Hand in the TV version of Mission: Impossible, during his three seasons on the show starting in 1966.

His other acting credits include Ready to Rumble, Edtv, The X-Files: Fight the Future, Rounders, The Majestic, Mysteria, City Hall, and the made-for-TV Anna Nicole biopic.

What may surprise many people out there now is that Landau had an opportunity to play another part in a classic series in Star Trek.

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Landau - victor of the OScar for his supporting role as Bela Lugosi in the 1994 cult film "Ed Wood" - rose to fame playing a killer in Alfred Hitchcock's classic 1959 tale of intrigue, "North by Northwest".

After leaving "Mission: Impossible", he and Bain moved to London, where they starred from 1975-1977 in "Space: 1999", a science fiction series in which he played the commander of a lunar colony and she played its chief medical officer.

Martin Landau, who won an Oscar for playing Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton's 1994 film Ed Wood, died Saturday at 89.

From L-R: American actress Juliette Landau, American director Tim Burton, actor and rock star Johnny Depp and actor Martin Landau seen during a photo call for their film "Ed Wood" on May 26, 2006. He had his first major movie role, as a villain, in Alfred Hitchcock's "North by Northwest" (1959).

In 1994, he played actor Bela Lugosi in his final years. He is also survived by Bain, with whom he was married until 1993. "Despite the trash, he had a certain dignity about him, whatever the role". The couple shared daughters Susie and Juliet. Or I was getting up to bat and no one was pitching to me. Landau later revealed that he "played the character gay", a creative direction that he said Hitchcock "loved".