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Martin Landau, Mission: Impossible and Ed Wood Star, Dead at 89

TVLine logo TVLine 7/17/2017 Ryan Schwartz
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Oscar winner Martin Landau died Saturday of “unexpected complications” following a brief stay at UCLA Medical Center, per The Hollywood Reporter. He was 89.

Landau got his big break when he was cast in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 film North by Northwest. In 1966, he began his star-making role as master of disguise Rollin Hand in the small screen Mission: Impossible, for which he earned the Golden Globe award as well as several Emmy nominations. In the series, Landau starred alongside then-wife Barbara Bain. It would mark the first of two small-screen collaborations for the couple, who later co-starred in the 1970s science-fiction program Space: 1999.

After quitting Mission: Impossible in 1969, Landau was replaced by Star Trek‘s Leonard Nimoy. Coincidentally, Landau was widely reported to have been Gene Roddenberry’s first choice to play Spock, a role that eventually went on to define Nimoy’s career.

In 1988, Landau received the Golden Globe (and an Academy Award nomination) for Best Supporting Actor in the film Tucker: The Man and His Dream. He would eventually earn an Oscar in 1995 for his role as Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton’s Ed Wood.

In addition to Mission Impossible, his TV credits included The Simpsons, Entourage, Without a Trace and Columbo.

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