Martin Landau Died at the age of 89

Virginia Carter
July 17, 2017

Landau attended James Madison High School and the Pratt Institute.

He began his career on the stage in NY, doing roles in such plays as "Stalag 17", "Goat Song", "First Love", and "Middle of the Night", the first play written by famed playwright Paddy Chayevsky. He eventually quit to pursue a career in the theater.

He had dabbled in acting before the switch, making his stage debut in 1951 at a ME summer theater in "Detective Story" and off-Broadway in "First Love".

What drove Landau's tireless work ethic was his enjoyment of the challenges of teaching and working alongside actors decades younger than he was.

Though his workload slowed in the 2000s, Landau continued to perform in films all the way up until 2015.

On Broadway, Landau won praise for his work in Middle of the Night, which starred Edward G. Robinson.

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"Oh, "Tucker" resurrected me", Landau told the London Guardian. "I didn't have to be a waiter". I will miss you. His first screen acting job was in a 1953 episode of the NBC series "Molly" (originally "The Goldbergs"). "Hitchcock loved it", he said of his characterization in a 2003 interview with The Hartford Courant.

'I would've probably died playing that role. But so what? I'm not gay. He did have a heroic part as ill-fated Roman officer Rufio in 1963's Cleopatra and a meaty role as Jesus's priestly antagonist Caiaphas in George Stevens's The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965), but neither of those epics did much to help the careers of their massive ensemble casts.

He also co-starred with Bain in the 1970s sci-fi series "Space: 1999" and appeared in Rod Serling's acclaimed series "The Twilight Zone". "Back then, movie directors felt that audiences wouldn't pay to see somebody they could see for free on TV", Landau said in 1994. Then Ed Wood earned him the golden guy at last.

His director, Howard Weiner, told WENN, "Martin asked a lot of questions and wanted to know if he was going to have to take off his shirt, which he doesn't, but he's an awesome actor and I established trust with him and he was game". In 2006, his guest appearance on Entourage earned him a second Emmy nomination. "Mission: Impossible" ran another four years without them.

Laundau and Bain divorced in 1993.

Landau is survived by daughters Susie, a writer and producer, and Juliet, an actress and dancer.

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