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Martin Landau

Martin Landau

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: June 20, 1931 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: actor, acting teacher, cartoonist, newspaper artist

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Though he got his start as an actor during the golden age of television in the 1950s, Martin Landau had to wait until the late 1980s until he became a widely recognized commodity. After five years as a cartoonist, Landau switched gears to become an actor, performing in live television productions before graduating to Hollywood features in the 1960s. Toward the latter half of that precarious decade, he landed his first truly memorable role, playing master of disguise Rollin Hand on the hit spy series, "Mission: Impossible" (CBS, 1966-1973). Though the show lasted for seven seasons, Landau left after the third because of a contractual dispute - a move that left the actor struggling to find quality roles for almost two decades. Landau had a particularly rough time during the 1980s despite a steady string of work, mainly as a one-dimensional villain in projects more concerned with car chases and explosions than character or story. He finally re-emerged with Oscar-nominated roles in "Tucker: The Man and His Dream" (1988) and "Crimes and Misdemeanors" (1989), eventually winning his first Academy Award for his spot-on portrayal of aging silent film star Bela Lugosi in "Ed Wood" (1994), all of which paved...

Though he got his start as an actor during the golden age of television in the 1950s, Martin Landau had to wait until the late 1980s until he became a widely recognized commodity. After five years as a cartoonist, Landau switched gears to become an actor, performing in live television productions before graduating to Hollywood features in the 1960s. Toward the latter half of that precarious decade, he landed his first truly memorable role, playing master of disguise Rollin Hand on the hit spy series, "Mission: Impossible" (CBS, 1966-1973). Though the show lasted for seven seasons, Landau left after the third because of a contractual dispute - a move that left the actor struggling to find quality roles for almost two decades. Landau had a particularly rough time during the 1980s despite a steady string of work, mainly as a one-dimensional villain in projects more concerned with car chases and explosions than character or story. He finally re-emerged with Oscar-nominated roles in "Tucker: The Man and His Dream" (1988) and "Crimes and Misdemeanors" (1989), eventually winning his first Academy Award for his spot-on portrayal of aging silent film star Bela Lugosi in "Ed Wood" (1994), all of which paved the way for higher profile projects for an actor always capable of quality performances.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Remember (2015)
2.
 Entourage (2015)
3.
 Anna Nicole (2013)
4.
 Frankenweenie (2012)
5.
 Young Picasso (2012)
6.
 Ivory (2012)
8.
9.
 9 (2009)
10.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1948:
At age 17, began working as a newspaper artist and staff cartoonist for New York's <i>Daily News</i>; illustrated Billy Rose's "Pitching Horseshoes" column
1951:
Made stage debut in "Detective Story" at the Peaks Island Playhouse in Maine
1951:
First appearance in an off-Broadway play, "First Love"
1955:
Auditioned for Lee Strasberg's Actors Studio; was accepted with fellow student Steve McQueen
:
Replaced Franchot Tone in the revival of Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya"
1957:
Acted in the touring company of "Middle of the Night"
1959:
Made film debut in "Pork Chop Hill"
1959:
Made first major film appearance in Alfred Hitchcock's "North by Northwest"
1963:
Appeared on two episodes of ABC anthology series "The Outer Limits"
1966:
Played Rollin Hand on CBS adventure series "Mission: Impossible"; acted opposite wife Barbara Bain; received Emmy nominations for all three years
1968:
Reprised role from the series in the feature "Mission Impossible vs. The Mob"
1969:
Left "Mission: Impossible" with Barbara Bain after contract dispute; new series regulars were added on and the show continued until 1973
1972:
Played a prisoner of war returning from Vietnam in CBS TV-movie "Welcome Home, Johnny Bristol"
1973:
Directed by Steven Spielberg on busted NBC series pilot "Savage"
1975:
Played lead role of John Koenig on British series "Space 1999"; again co-starred with then-wife Barbara Bain
1976:
First film in four years, "Strange Shadows in an Empty Room"
1981:
Last acting credit opposite Barbara Bain, "The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island"
1983:
Played lead in low-budget horror feature "The Being"
1983:
Guest starred on the NBC sitcom "Buffalo Bill"
:
Took over the title role in "Dracula" on Broadway; also starred in the national touring production
1987:
Returned to film with "W.A.R. Women Against Rape"
1988:
Received an Academy Award nomination for his role in "Tucker: The Man and His Dream"
1989:
First TV miniseries, "The Neon Empire" (Showtime)
1989:
Earned second Academy Award nomination as the adulterous husband in Woody Allen's "Crimes and Misdemeanors"
1990:
Portrayed Simon Wiesenthal in the based-on-fact TNT movie "Max and Helen"
1990:
Cast as the U.S. President in the HBO original "By Dawn's Early Light"
1992:
Co-starred in the feature "Mistress"
1994:
Portrayed screen horror icon Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton's biopic "Ed Wood"
1995:
Appeared in the TNT biblical miniseries "Joseph"
1996:
Played Geppetto in the feature "The Adventures of Pinocchio"
1997:
Cast as a sickly millionaire who ends up being cared for by two waitresses in "B.A.P.S."
1998:
Co-starred in "Rounders" opposite Matt Damon
1999:
Played the titular character as an older adult in the Showtime miniseries "Bonanno: A Godfather's Story"
2000:
Made executive producing debut with "Prank"
2001:
Had pivotal supporting role in "The Majestic"
2001:
Received star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
2003:
Featured in the buddy cop flick "Hollywood Homicide" with Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett
2004:
Guest starred on several episodes of "Without a Trace" (CBS); received Emmy nominations in 2004 and 2005
2004:
Co-starred with Judy Parfitt, as a Jewish couple trying to escape Nazi Germany in "The Aryan Couple"
2006:
Received Emmy nomination for his role as an old-school producer on HBO series "Entourage"
2009:
Lent his voice to the feature-length adaptation of Shane Acker's short "9"
2012:
Reunited with director Tim Burton to voice Mr. Rzykruski in animated film "Frankenweenie"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Pratt Institute: Brooklyn , New York -
Actors Studio: New York , New York -
James Madison High School: Bronx , New York - 1946

Notes

"There was a ten-year period where everything I did was bad. I'd like to go back and turn all those films into guitar picks. I can't even remember most of the titles. I played a lot of heavies, one-dimensional rubbish. No, I wasn't driving a cab, and yes, I was better off than many people. But I was working for directors who didn't know anything about acting and stories. They only cared about car chases and explosions. I'm lucky I kept my sanity. It wasn't pleasant." --Martin Landau, quoted in The New York Times October 2, 1994.

Landau has also wons awards including the Belgian Viewers Best Actor Award, the Brazilian Saci Award and Germany's Bravo Award.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Barbara Bain. Actor. Married January 31, 1957, divorced; co-starred on the TV series "Mission: Impossible" and "Space: 1999"; both quit the former together over contract dispute.
companion:
Gretchen Becker. Actor, veterinarian, former all-American basketball player. Born c. 1964; played small role in "Ed Wood" (1994); no longer together.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Morris Landau. Machinist in garment industry. Immigrant.
mother:
Selma Landau.
daughter:
Susan Meredith Landau. Producer. Born c. 1965; produced "The Spirit of '76" (1990); mother Barbara Bain.
daughter:
Juliet Rose Landau. Actor. Mother Barbara Bain; born c. 1970; appeared in "Ed Wood" (1994).
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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