May 27, 2018

Martin Landau, Oscar-winning actor, dies aged 89

17 July 2017, 04:25 | Erma Lawrence

Dead at 89

Martin Landau, Oscar Winner for 'Ed Wood,' Dies at 89

Celebrated actor Martin Landau, an Oscar victor and longtime television star, has died, his publicist announced Sunday.

Landau, who was born in NY, also starred in the British series Space: 1999 alongside his then wife, Barbara Bain.

At the 1995 Academy Awards, he won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of actor Bela Lugosi in "Ed Wood". He was nominated for three Emmys and a Golden Globe in 1968. 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.

He died on Saturday of "unexpected complications" at the UCLA Medical Center, his publicist confirmed.

Landau had been described as a "guiding force" in the Actors Studio for over 60 years, and was serving as Artistic Director of Actors Studio West at the time of his death.

Landau also was an admired acting teacher who taught the craft to the likes of Jack Nicholson. Harry Dean Stanton and Angelica Huston were among his other students.

Calling it "the worst acting I've ever seen in my life to this day", Landau said he figured he couldn't do any worse. "A lot of actors lead with their voices and their bodies follow".

North by Northwest and Ed Wood actor Martin Landau has died.

At age 17 he began a five-year stint working as a cartoonist for the New York Daily News, and then quit his job to enter the Actors Studio at age 22.

Landau attended James Madison High School and the Pratt Institute.

He worked at The Daily News in NY for five years, illustrating "Pitching Horseshoes", a column written by impresario Billy Rose, and assisting Gus Edson with the comic strip "The Gumps".

But as accomplished and talented as he was, Landau wasn't afraid to poke fun at himself and Hollywood.

"It helped me get better roles and more roles and better money", he told The Hollywood Reporter, but "then I went back to just being a normal actor".

"I quit to become an out-of-work actor in NY, and everyone thought I was insane".

So at 22, he made a decision to give up his day job and pursue acting.

Landau continued work on both big and small screens in the 1990s, with roles in City Hall (1996) and Rounders (1998).

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