Martin Landau was an American actor, acting coach, executive producer, voice artist, editorial cartoonist and comic strip producer.
His career began in the 1950s, with early film appearances including a supporting role in Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest (1959). He played regular roles in the television series Mission: Impossible (for which he received several Emmy Award nominations and a Golden Globe Award) and Space: 1999.
Landau received the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture, as well as his first nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, for his role in Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988); he received his second Oscar nomination for his appearance in Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989).
His performance in the supporting role of Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood (1994) earned him an Academy Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Golden Globe Award.
Landau had previously received two Oscar nominations, in 1988 for his performance as Abe Karatz in Francis Ford Coppola's Tucker and in 1989 for his role as Judah Rosenthal in Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors.
A native of Brooklyn, New York, Landau studied fine art at the prestigious Pratt Institute and went on to work as an artist at the New York Daily News. In his early 20's he began to study theatre at Lee Strasberg's Actor's Studio and went on to forge a successful career on Broadway.
His early stage credits include the role of Juvan in Franz Werfel's Goat Song, as well as roles in Stalag 17, First Love, The Penguin and Middle of the Night.
As television quickly gained prominence, Landau soon landed starring roles on several network programs, including Omnibus Presents Oscar Wilde's Salome, opposite Eartha Kitt and Patricia Neal.
He also appeared in Studio One, The Philco Playhouse, Goodyear Playhouse, Kraft Theatre, Armstrong Circle Theatre and Playhouse 90.
But it was his performance in the national tour of Paddy Chayefsky's hit Broadway play Middle of the Night that caught the attention of Hollywood's producers and directors.
Landau went on to appear on the big screen in Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest, Lewis Milestone's Pork Chop Hill, George Stevens' The Greatest Story Ever Told, John Sturges' The Hallelujah Trail, Henry Hathaway's Nevada Smith and Joseph L. Mankiewicz's Cleopatra, opposite Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Rex Harrison.
In recent years, Landau has added to his list of over 100 films with Frank Darabont's The Majestic, in which he starred with Jim Carrey; Ron Shelton's Hollywood Homicide, with Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett; Pinocchio, as Geppetto; The New Adventures of Pinocchio; Shiner, with Michael Caine; and Wake, produced by Landau's daughter Susie Landau Finch and written and directed by son-in-law Roy Finch.
For the film The Aryan Couple Landau received the Best Actor Award at the Milan Film Festival.
On television, Landau is probably best known for his work on two popular series, Mission: Impossible and Space: 1999, as well as on hundreds of episodic series as a guest star. His credits also include dozens of television movies and miniseries.
From 2004-2005 Landau appeared as the father of Anthony LaPaglia's character on the drama series Without a Trace, for which Landau received two consecutive Emmy Award nominations.
In 2006 he starred as Dr. Sol Gold in the short-lived crime drama The Evidence, and also made a three-episode guest appearance on the TV series Entourage, playing a washed-up, but determined and sympathetic Hollywood producer attempting to relive his glory days.
He continued to perform in film and television, and headed the Hollywood branch of the Actors Studio until his death in July 2017.
On 15 July, 2017, Landau died at the age of 89 at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood, Los Angeles, California; he had been briefly hospitalised. The cause of death was multiple organ failure caused by intra-abdominal hemorrhage.