Veteran Actor Martin Landau Dies

LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) — Martin Landau, a versatile actor of the screen and stage who appeared in films such as "North by Northwest," "Tucker," and "Ed Wood," died on Saturday in Los Angeles. He was 89.

According to the New York Times, Landau's death was confirmed by his publicist, though a cause of death was not disclosed.

Born and raised in New York City, Landau's first job was as an editorial cartoonist for the New York Daily News, but he quit the newspaper at the age of 22 to pursue a career as an actor. Landau was one of the first students accepted at the current location of the famed Actor's Studio, when he, along with Steve McQueen, were the only two candidates selected out of 500 applicants.

After several roles on the live stage, including the Broadway production "Middle of the Night" in 1957, Landau landed his first major screen role as the sinister homosexual henchman Leonard in Alfred Hitchcock's 1959 film "North by Northwest".

Landau's next big role was on television when he appeared as Rollin Hand in the US television series Mission: Impossible, but left the show after three seasons, after a contractual dispute with the show's producers.

Landau's departure from the show marked the start of a long lull in his career where he found little work in television and film, starring most notably in the British sci-fi show "Space: 1999" but experienced a resurgence after he was cast in Francis Ford Coppola’s “Tucker: The Man and His Dream” (1988).

Other major roles for Landau included his portrayal of the dissipated Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton's cult classic "Ed Wood" (1994), earning Landau numerous accolades, including the Oscar and the Golden Globe for best supporting actor, as well as awards from the National Society of Film Critics, the New York Film Critics Circle, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the Chicago Film Critics Association, the Boston Society of Film Critics and the Screen Actors Guild.

More recently, Landau earned an Emmy nomination for his portrayal of an aging movie producer on HBO's "Entourage" and for a regular role as Special Agent Jack Malone's father on the CBS crime drama "Without a Trace."

Survivors include his daughters Susie and Juliet from his marriage to fellow actor Barbara Bain; sons-in-law Roy and Deverill; sister Elinor; granddaughter Aria; and godson Dylan.

The family has asked that donations in Landau's name be made to the Actors Studio West.