Martin Landau, the Oscar-winning actor who starred in television's Mission: Impossible and the films North by Northwest, Ed Wood, and Crimes and Misdemeanors, died Saturday in Los Angeles. He was 89.
Over the course of his career, Landau, who served as the West Coast co-artistic director of the Actors Studio, was nominated for three Academy Awards and five Emmys. He was a cartoonist with the New York Daily News from 1948 to 1951, and then became an actor. Many of his leading roles were on television, and he received his first Oscar later in life, for his 1994 portrayal of Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton's Ed Wood. His role in Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest led to a part in Cleopatra, but after a year of filming, his scenes were all cut, Variety reports. "What could I do?" he said later. "They couldn't cut Richard Burton or Elizabeth Taylor." He was also Gene Roddenberry's first choice to play Spock on Star Trek, but after Landau chose to star in Mission: Impossible, the part went to Leonard Nimoy.
Landau is survived by daughters Susan Landau Finch, a writer, producer, and casting director, and actress Juliet Landau; a sister; and a granddaughter.