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Martin Landau, film and TV icon, dead at 89

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

Landau also had the major role of Judah Rosenthal in Woody Allen's 1989 movie, "Crimes and Misdemeanors", for which he earned another Oscar nod for best supporting actor.

"We are overcome with sadness to report the death of iconic actor Martin Landau", read the statement from his reps, according to PEOPLE.

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". During the mid-1970s and 80s, Landau's Hollywood shine had dimmed considerably. This role garnered him his first acting awards, including a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Television Series Drama in 1967. After all, Landau's roller-coaster career included credits like The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island. Landau once turned down Gene Roddenberry for the role of Spock.

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.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1928, Landau began his creative career as a cartoonist for the New York Daily News at age 17, but gave up the work five years later to concentrate on theater. But it was the 1966 TV show "Mission: Impossible', which helped him make a mark in the industry".

Martin Landau, Jewish actor best known for his breakout role in the TV series "Mission: Impossible" passed away on Saturday at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles at the age of 89.

Landau rose to fame after playing a homosexual henchmen in Alfred Hitchcock's 1959 North by Northwest.

Martin Landau spent the next two decades struggling to find worthy roles, and appeared in a large number of genre motion pictures and television series, notably the motion picture thrillers Alone in the Dark and Without Warning, and the sci-fi show Space: 1999.

Those predictions would come true, with Landau winning his first and only Oscar for playing Lugosi. He was married to co-star Bain from 1957 until their divorce in 1993.

Landau and Bain had two daughters, Susan and Juliet. "Tim and I don't finish a sentence", Landau said in a 2012 Los Angeles Times interview. Or I was getting up to bat and no one was pitching to me.

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