Martin Landau, the Oscar victor who starred in the "Mission Impossible" television series in the 1960s after an early career teaching students such as Jack Nicholson how to act, has died. A statement from Landau's publicist confirmed the actor passed away Saturday due to "unexpected complications" during a brief hospital stay. In 1968, Landau took the Golden Globe award as best male television star.
His performance in "Ed Wood" earned him an Academy Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Golden Globe Award. The performance was met with critical acclaim and won Mr. Landau the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
In a 2016 interview with The Washington Times, Landau explained what he thought of acting in the 21st century. The very next year came a second nomination, for 1989's Crimes and Misdemeanors.
Landau portrayed washed-up Dracula actor Bela Lugosi in his final years, alongside Johnny Depp, Bill Murray and Sarah Jessica Parker. "I never had to work in a laundry".
But Landau, who spent five years at The News beginning in the late 1940s, said he caught the acting bug after going to see a News colleague who was appearing in an Off-Off Broadway play. "I think he just could relate to it, and had been through enough ups and downs to understand Bela Lugosi", the Turner Classic Movies website quoted Burton as saying about Landau.
'I would've probably died playing that role. Landau said he found himself adrift, reduced to playing heavies in low-budget dreck. His most recent appearances have been in Without a Trace, Entourage, Remember, The Last Poker Game, and a Lifetime biopic about sex symbol Anna Nicole Smith. He won the Oscar for the "Ed Wood" role. "Subliminally, I had always wanted to act".
Landau continued work on both big and small screens in the 1990s, with roles in City Hall (1996) and Rounders (1998).
Survivors include his daughters Susie (a writer-producer) and Juliet (an actress-dancer) from his marriage to Bain; sons-in-law Roy and Deverill; sister Elinor; granddaughter Aria; and godson Dylan.