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Actor Martin Landau Dead at 89

Actor Martin Landau Dead at 89

He died on July 15, said his publicist.

"The ladies always loved Martin Landau". An artistic kid, he studied at the Pratt Institute and began working at 17 as a cartoonist at The Daily News, illustrating Billy Rose's "Pitching Horseshoes" column and assisting "The Gumps" cartoonist Gus Edson. As he told Talk Of The Nation Host Neal Conan in 2010, he quit the News five years later to give acting a shot. "Trust has to be attained", Landau said.

"I quit to become an out-of-work actor in NY, and everyone thought I was insane".

Landau did some stage work, most notably touring with the Paddy Chayefsky play "Middle of the Night" in 1956-57. Landau is agonised, self-questioning and vulnerable, at once a kind of damaged father figure to Tucker and yet also perhaps someone who lets him down, like an errant son. "To this day, I can still hear my mother's voice saying, 'You did what?!'"

Landau's career picked up when he got a recurring role on the NBC comedy "Buffalo Bill", in which Dabney Coleman starred.

It was a daring artistic choice for that era, and the actor's friends anxious that he'd be typecast in effeminate roles after that.

"In size and dimension, it's probably the best role I've had since 'Cleopatra, ' and my 10 best scenes in "Cleopatra" weren't in the movie", he told The New York Times.

As well as acting, he returned to the Actors Studio to share his gift as a director and teacher, helping to advise and guide the likes of Jack Nicholson and Anjelica Huston.

He was nominated for Emmys for each of his three seasons on the show and won the Golden Globe for best male TV star in 1968. Landau was Commander John Koenig, and just as in Mission: Impossible, he starred with his wife, Barbara Bain.

Though he worked consistently, his movie career didn't kick into high gear again until he was 60.

His career was salvaged by Coppola, who cast Landau as an amiable elderly businessman with a huckster streak in "Tucker: The Man and His Dream" (1988). He won the Oscar for the "Ed Wood" role.

The beloved actor got his start on-screen in the 1950s. "Star Trek" creator Gene Rodenberry had offered him the half-Vulcan, half-human who attempts to rid his life of all emotion.

Fortunately, Landau earned himself an enormous career resurgence in the late 1980s.

He acted in the movies "They Call Me Mr. Tibbs" (1970), "Destination Moonbase-Alpha" (1978), "Meteor" (1979), "Crimes and Misdemeanors" (1989), "City Hall" (1996), "Lovely Still" (2008) and "Remember" (2015).

Landau had a rare leading-man part in "Lovely, Still" (2008), a tepidly received romance co-starring Ellen Burstyn, about an older couple's love affair. He would later star in Space: 1999, and earned further Emmy nominations for guest roles in Without a Trace and Entourage.


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