Martin Landau

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Martin Landau

Landau at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival
Born June 20, 1928 (1928-06-20) (age 81)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor/Producer
Years active 1956–present
Spouse(s) Barbara Bain (1957-1993)

Martin Landau (born June 20, 1928)[1] is an American film and television actor. He is perhaps best known for his roles in the television series Mission: Impossible (1966–1969) and Space: 1999 (1975–1977). He received a Golden Globe Award in 1969 for his performance in the former, playing the role of mission specialist Rollin Hand. In 1968 and 1969 he received Emmy award nominations for best actor in a dramatic series for his Mission: Impossible work. In 1994 he won several awards, including the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance as actor Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood. He had already received two previous Oscar nominations.

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[edit] Early life

Landau was born into a Jewish family in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Selma (née Buchanan) and Morris Landau, an Austrian-born machinist who scrambled to rescue from the Nazis.[2][3] At the age of 17, he began working as a cartoonist for the Daily News, assisting Gus Edson on The Gumps comic strip during the 1940s and 1950s.[4]

Influenced by Charlie Chaplin and the escapism of the cinema, he pursued an acting career. He attended the Actors Studio in the same class with Steve McQueen and in 1957, Landau made his Broadway debut in Middle of the Night. Encouraged by his mentor Lee Strasberg, Landau also taught acting. Actors he has coached include Jack Nicholson and Anjelica Huston.

[edit] Career

Martin Landau as Rollin Hand on Mission: Impossible, feigning drug dependency

In 1959, Landau made his first major film appearance in Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest at the age of 28. There is a legend that he turned down the role of Spock in Star Trek but Star Trek story editor D.C. Fontana has verified that it is false.[citation needed] Landau took the role of master of disguise Rollin Hand in Mission: Impossible, becoming one of the show's best-known stars. According to The Complete Mission: Impossible Dossier, by Patrick J. White (Avon Books, 1991), Landau initially declined to be contracted to the show as he did not want it to interfere with his film career; instead, for the first season he was credited in "special guest appearances by" him. He became a "full-time" cast member with the second season, although the studio agreed to only contract him on a year-by-year basis rather than the then-standard five years. The role of Rollin Hand required Landau to perform a wide range of accents and characters from dictators to thugs, and several episodes saw Landau playing dual roles - not only Hand's impersonation, but also the "original" person (such as in the first episode of the series). He co-starred in the series with his then-wife, Barbara Bain.

Martin Landau (left) with the late Patrick Swayze

In the mid-1970s, Landau and Bain, teamed with Barry Morse, returned to television in the British science fiction series, Space: 1999, produced first by Gerry Anderson in partnership with Sylvia Anderson and then by Fred Freiberger. Although it remains a cult classic for its high production design values, the series was critically derided during its run and was cancelled after two seasons. Landau himself became very critical of the show's scripts and storylines, especially during its second season, but praised the cast and crew. He wrote forewords for Barry Morse's 2006 theatrical memoir Remember With Advantages and for Jim Smith's critical biography of Tim Burton.

After Space: 1999, Landau appeared in supporting roles in a number of films and television shows of varying quality, including The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island, which again co-starred Bain. This was the last time the two acted together on screen, as of December 2007.

In the late 1980s, Landau staged a major career comeback by winning an Academy Award nomination for his role in Tucker: The Man and His Dream. He later received a second nomination for Crimes and Misdemeanors and won the 1994 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his uncanny portrayal of Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood. Upon accepting the award, he was visibly frustrated by the orchestra's attempt to cut short his speech. When the music level rose, he pounded his fist on the podium and yelled "No!" He later stated that he had intended to thank Lugosi and dedicate the award to him and his frustration was that he did not get to mention the man whom he had been honoured for playing.[citation needed] Landau received a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Golden Globe, and a Saturn Award for the role, as well as awards from several critics groups.[5] Upon winning the Academy Award, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times stated that "the award goes to Martin Landau; its shadow goes to Bela Lugosi." Landau admitted, on the Ed Wood DVD, to having been very impressed by the comment.

In 2006, Landau made a guest appearance on the TV series Entourage, playing a washed-up, but determined and sympathetic, Hollywood producer attempting to relive his glory days. Landau received a 2007 Emmy Award nomination for his performance in this role.

In 2009, Landau, working with director Mark Rydell and Screenwriter/Playwright Lyle Kessler have teamed up to produce an educational seminar, The Total Picture Seminar. It is a unique two-day event covering the disciplines of acting, directing and writing for film. The three have worked together as a team for many decades at the Actors Studio teaching and coaching professional actors, writers, and directors. They are now bringing their industry experience and personal success, as well as a lifetime of teaching experience to a wider audience.

For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Landau has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6841 Hollywood Blvd.

[edit] Personal life

Landau has two daughters, Susan and Juliet, from his marriage to Barbara Bain. Landau and Bain married on January 31, 1957 and divorced in 1993. He lives in West Hollywood, California.

[edit] Filmography

Year Film Role Notes
1959 Pork Chop Hill Lt. Marshall
North by Northwest Leonard
The Gazebo The Duke aka A. Wellington Broos
1962 Stagecoach to Dancers' Rock Dade Coleman
1963 Decision at Midnight
Cleopatra Rufio
1965 The Hallelujah Trail Chief Walks-Stooped-Over
The Greatest Story Ever Told Caiaphas
1966 Nevada Smith Jesse Coe
1970 Operation Snafu Joe Mellone
They Call Me Mister Tibbs! Logan Sharpe
1970 A Town Called Hell The Colonel
1972 Black Gunn Capelli
1972 Welcome Home, Johnny Bristol Johnny Bristol
1976 A Special Magnum for Tony Saitta Dr. George Tracer
1979 Meteor Major General Adlon
1980 Without Warning Fred 'Sarge' Dobbs
The Last Word Captain Garrity
The Return Niles Buchanan
1982 Alone in the Dark Byron 'Preacher' Sutcliff
The Fall of the House of Usher Roderick Usher
1983 Trial by Terror
The Being Garson Jones
1984 Access Code
Terror in the Aisles archival footage
1985 Treasure Island Old Captain
1987 W.A.R.: Women Against Rape Judge Shaw
Cyclone Bosarian
Sweet Revenge Cicero
Empire State Chuck
Delta Fever Bud
Run If You Can Malvani
1988 Tucker: The Man and His Dream Abe Karatz / Voice of Walter Winchell Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
Nominated - Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
1989 Paint It Black Daniel Lambert
Crimes and Misdemeanors Judah Rosenthal Nominated - Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
1990 Real Bullets Sallini
1991 Firehead Admiral Pendleton
1992 Mistress Jack Roth
1993 No Place to Hide Frank McCoy
Sliver Alex Parsons
Eye of the Stranger Mayor Howard Bains
1994 The Color of Evening Max Loeb
Intersection Neal
Ed Wood Béla Lugosi Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated - BAFTA Award
Time Is Money Mac
1995 Joseph Jacob
1996 The Elevator Roy Tilden
City Hall Judge Walter Stern
The Adventures of Pinocchio Geppetto
1997 B*A*P*S Mr. Donald Blakemore
Legend of the Spirit Dog Storyteller voice
1998 The X Files Alvin Kurtzweil, MD
Rounders Abe Petrovsky
1999 Edtv Al
Carlo's Wake Carlo Torello
The Joyriders Gordon Trout
The New Adventures of Pinocchio Geppetto
Sleepy Hollow Peter Van Garrett uncredited
2000 Ready to Rumble Sal Bandini
Shiner Frank Spedding
Very Mean Men Mr. White
2001 The Majestic Harry Trimble
2003 Hollywood Homicide Jerry Duran
Wake Older Sebastian Riven
The Commission Sen. Richard Russell
2004 The Aryan Couple Joseph Krauzenberg
2006 Love Made Easy Don Farinelli Sr
An Existential Affair Doctor
2008 David & Fatima Rabbi Schmulic
City of Ember Sul
Billy: The Early Years Older Charles Templeton
Harrison Montgomery Harrison Montgomery awaiting release
Lovely, Still Robert Malone awaiting release
Ivory Leon Spencer post-production
2009 9 2 (voice)
The Company Men August pre-production

[edit] Selected television

year film role notes
1957 Harbourmaster First Mate "Sanctuary"
1959 The Lawless Years Silva "Lucky Silva"
1959 The Twilight Zone Dan Hotaling "Mr. Denton on Doomsday"
1959 Johnny Staccato Jerry Lindstrom "Murder for Credit"
1961 The Law and Mr. Jones The episode entitled "Lincoln"
1963 The Outer Limits Andro "The Man Who Was Never Born"
1964 The Outer Limits Richard Bellero "The Bellero Shield"
The Twilight Zone Major Ivan Juchenko "The Jeopardy Room"
1965 The Big Valley Mariano Montoya "The Way to Kill a Killer"
1966-1969 Mission: Impossible Rollin Hand Golden Globe
Nominated - Emmy Award, 1967, 1968, 1969
1969 Get Smart As Himself
1973 Columbo Dexter and Norman Paris "Columbo: Double Shock"
1975-1977 Space: 1999 Commander John Koenig, leader of Moonbase Alpha 48 episodes, TV Series
1981 The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island J.J. Pierson
1985 The New Twilight Zone William Cooper-Janes "The Beacon/One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty"
1990 By Dawn's Early Light The President of the United States
1993 12:01 Dr. Thadius Moxley
1999 Bonanno: A Godfather's Story Joseph Bonanno, age 94
2000 In the Beginning Abraham
2004-2005 Without a Trace Frank Malone 4 episodes
Nominated - Nominated - Emmy Award Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series, 2004, 2005
2006 The Evidence Dr. Sol Gold 8 episodes
Entourage Bob Ryan 4 episodes
Nominated - Emmy Award Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series

[edit] References

  1. ^ Martin Landau biography. Space1999.net
  2. ^ Martin Landau biography. Film Reference.com.
  3. ^ Pfefferman, Naomi. The ‘Majestic’ Martin Landau. Jewish Journal.com. 21 December 2001.
  4. ^ Lindsey, Robert. "Martin Landau Rolls Up in a New Vehicle". The New York Times. 7 August 1988.
  5. ^ Awards for Ed Wood. IMDB.com.

[edit] External links