R.I.P. Martin Landau, of "Mission: Impossible," "Ed Wood" -- 1928-2017

From The Hollywood Reporter"Martin Landau, Oscar Winner for 'Ed Wood,' Dies at 89"

Martin Landau, the all-purpose actor who showcased his versatility as a master of disguise on the Mission: Impossible TV series and as a broken-down Bela Lugosi in his Oscar-winning performance in Ed Wood, has died. He was 89.

Landau, who shot to fame by playing a homosexual henchman in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 classic North by Northwest, died Saturday of "unexpected complications" after a brief stay at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, his rep confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.

After he quit CBS’ Mission: Impossible after three seasons in 1969 because of a contract dispute, Landau’s career was on the rocks until he was picked by Francis Ford Coppola to play Abe Karatz, the business partner of visionary automaker Preston Tucker (Jeff Bridges), in Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988).

Landau received a best supporting actor nomination for that performance, then backed it up the following year with another nom for starring as Judah Rosenthal, an ophthalmologist who has his mistress (Angelica Huston) killed, in Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989).

Landau lost out on Oscar night to Kevin Kline and Denzel Washington, respectively, in those years but finally prevailed for his larger-than-life portrayal of horror-movie legend Lugosi in the biopic Ed Wood (1994), directed by Tim Burton.

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Just a few months ago I watched both seasons of Space: 1999 for the first time and really enjoyed his character on the show.

R.I.P. Fellow Brooklynite.

He elevated every project he was on!

I watched Space: 1999 and Mission: Impossible every Saturday when I was growing up!

And he was almost Spock!

IIRC, when he left Mission Impossible he was replaced by Leonard Nimoy.

Landau, who shot to fame by playing a homosexual henchman in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 classic North by Northwest,

I have seen the film several times, but I never got the impression he was supposed to be homosexual.

Sometimes I think film critics see what they want to see.

Ah, shame.

To many he was Rollin Hand, but to me he will always be Commander John Koenig.

A week or so ago I saw him do a  cameo on Get Smart.

I always figured that Moonbase Alpha was just an op for Rollin and Cinnamon that went really really sideways.
So sorry to hear he passed. I always liked him, no matter how weak the material he had to work with.



Lee Semmens said:

Landau, who shot to fame by playing a homosexual henchman in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 classic North by Northwest,

I have seen the film several times, but I never got the impression he was supposed to be homosexual.

Sometimes I think film critics see what they want to see.


Landau has said that he played the character as gay, although it was not in the script. So there's nothing to confirm it other than his own statement.

Lee Semmens said:

Landau, who shot to fame by playing a homosexual henchman in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 classic North by Northwest,

I have seen the film several times, but I never got the impression he was supposed to be homosexual.

Sometimes I think film critics see what they want to see.



Detective 445 said:

Landau has said that he played the character as gay, although it was not in the script. So there's nothing to confirm it other than his own statement.

That movie was made at a time when being gay was freqently presented as subtext, not overtly.

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