89 (passed away Jul. 15th, 2017)
Jun. 20th, 1928
Brooklyn, New York, USA
Martin Landau's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Martin Landau, the Oscar-winning character actor, was born on June 20, 1931, in Brooklyn, New York. At the age of 17, he was hired by the New York Daily News as a staff cartoonist and illustrator. In his five years on the paper, he served as the illustrator for Billy Rose (I)'s "Pitching Horseshoes" column. He also worked for cartoonist Gus Edson on "The Gumps" comic strip. Landau's major ambition was to act and, in 1951, he made his stage debut in "Detective Story" at the Peaks Island Playhouse in Peaks Island, Maine. He made his off-Broadway debut that year in "First Love."
In 1963, Landau played memorable roles on two episodes of the science-fiction anthology series "The Outer Limits" (1963), "The Bellero Shield" and "The Man Who Was Never Born". He was Gene Roddenberry's first choice to play Mr. Spock on "Star Trek" (1966), but the role went to Leonard Nimoy, who later replaced Landau on "Mission: Impossible" (1966), the show that really made Landau famous. He originally was not meant to be a regular on the series, which co-starred his wife Barbara Bain, whom he had married in 1957. His character, Rollin Hand, was supposed to make occasional, though recurring appearances, on "Mission: Impossible" (1966), but when the producers had problems with star Steven Hill (I), Landau was used to take up the slack. Landau's characterisation was so well-received and so popular with the audience that he was made a regular. Landau received Emmy nominations as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for each of the three seasons he appeared. In 1968, he won the Golden Globe award as Best Male TV Star.
Landau appeared in support of Sidney Poitier in They Call Me MISTER Tibbs! (1970), the less successful sequel to the Oscar-winning In the Heat of the Night (1967), but it did not generate more work of a similar caliber. He starred in the TV-movie Welcome Home, Johnny Bristol (1972) (TV) on CBS, playing a prisoner of war returning to the US from Vietnam. The following year he shot a pilot for NBC for a proposed show, "Savage". Though it was directed by emerging wunderkind Steven Spielberg, NBC did not pick up the show. Needing work, Landau and Bain moved to England to play the leading roles in the syndicated science-fiction series "Space: 1999" (1975).
His career renaissance got off to a slow start with a recurring role in the NBC sitcom "Buffalo Bill" (1983), starring Dabney Coleman. On Broadway, he took over the title role in the revival of "Dracula" and went on the road with the national touring company. Finally, his career renaissance began to gather momentum when Francis Ford Coppola cast him in a critical supporting role in his Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988), for which Landau was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor. He won his second Golden Globe for the role. The next year, he received his second consecutive Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his superb turn as the adulterous husband in Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989). He followed this up by playing famed Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal in the TNT TV-movie Max and Helen (1990) (TV). The summit of his post-"Mission: Impossible" carer was about to be scaled, however. He portrayed Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton (I)'s biopic Ed Wood (1994) and won glowing reviews. For his performance, he won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Martin Landau, the superb character actor, finally had been recognized with his profession's ultimate award. His performance, which also won him his third Golden Globe, garnered numerous awards in addition to the Oscar and Golden Globe, including top honors from the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Society of Film Critics. Landau continued to play a wide variety of roles in motion pictures and on television, turning in a superb performance in a supporting role in The Majestic (2001). He received his fourth Emmy nomination in 2004 as Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for "Without a Trace" (2002).
Martin Landau was honored with his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, located at 6801 Hollywood Blvd.
- He received two of his three Oscar-nominations for portraying real-life people.
- Father of 'Susan Landau Finch' (qv) and 'Juliet Landau' (qv).
- A friend of 'James Dean (I)' (qv), when Landau first met 'Steve McQueen (I)' (qv) and McQueen said he knew him, he asked where they had met. McQueen informed him he had seen Landau riding into the New York City garage where he worked as a mechanic on the back of Dean's motorcycle.
- He has a Motion Picture star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 6801 Hollywood Blvd.
- Father-in-law of 'Roy Finch (I)' (qv).
- Of the 2,000 performers that auditioned for 'Lee Strasberg' (qv)'s exclusive theatre school in 1955, only two were accepted: 'Steve McQueen (I)' (qv) and Landau.
- In, 1973 he appeared in the series pilot for NBC for a program entitled "Savage". The pilot was directed by the young 'Steven Spielberg' (qv). It was not picked up.
- Lives in West Hollywood, California.