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July 17, 2017

R.I.P. Martin Landau (1928-2017)

With a career that spanned seven decades, Martin Landau may not have always had the spotlight, but when he did shine, few would forget the impression he made. Sadly, the legendary actor has passed away at the age of 89.

Indeed, Landau made his first notable mark in only his second feature film, Alfred Hitchcock‘s “North By Northwest,” but curiously, it would be difficult to find quality big screen roles. Though he continued to work on movies, Landau found considerable more successful on television, particular in “Mission: Impossible” as the master of disguise Rollin Hand, which landed him three Emmy nods. The ’70s and ’80s were marked by peaks and valleys, but it was Francis Ford Coppola who would turn Landau’s fortunes around by casting him in “Tucker: The Man And His Dream,” which earned him both Golden Globe and Oscar nominations.

From there, Landau began a late career ascension, working with auteurs such as Woody Allen (“Crimes and Misdemeanors,” which earned him another Oscar nomination), Tim Burton (“Ed Wood,” playing Bela Lugosi in an Oscar winning performance; “Sleepy Hollow,” and “Frankenweenie“), John Dahl (“Rounders“), Ron Howard (“Edtv“), Frank Darabont (“The Majestic“), Atom Egoyan (“Remember“) and more. Landau continued TV work as well, earning Emmy nominations for guest appearances on “Without A Trace” and “Entourage.”

“[Bela] Lugosi … had a palpable intensity and a presence that you can’t buy,” he said in 1994. “But this fuckin’ town shat on him … And I can relate to that. I’ve seen it happen a lot. I’ve seen it happen to me.” Landau hopefully saw that Hollywood didn’t make that mistake twice, and he will be greatly be missed.

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