A prolific supporting player whose roller-coaster career has spanned half a century, Landau studied at the Actors Studio and soon began landing parts on stage and TV. His chilly turn as a villain in 1959's North by Northwest launched his movie career, and the small screen made him a star. Although Landau was in the running for the role of Mr. Spock on Star Trek
, he ended up signing on to the series Mission: Impossible
instead, opposite his then-wife Barbara Bain. After three seasons, the couple exited the show due to a contract dispute. (In an ironic twist, Leonard Nimoy, aka Spock, replaced Landau on MI
). Unfortunately, Landau's and Bain's careers — and their marriage — stalled, and after a few more collaborations (the cult sci-fi series Space: 1999
and the lambasted TV-movie The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island
), the duo called it quits. In the late '80s, Landau had a remarkable resurgence, snagging two consecutive Oscar nods for his turns in Tucker
and Crimes and Misdemeanors
. In the '90s, he finally won an Oscar for his uncanny channeling of Dracula star Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood
, and the achievement led to a boost in his demand for a wide range of parts. Among his roles on the big-screen, he played a judge in the political drama City Hall
, Geppetto in the live action The Adventures of Pinocchio
, a law school mentor in Rounders
, and a stepdad in EdTV
. In a pair of miniseries, he played very different kinds of paternal figures, first depicting virtuous dad Jacob in the Biblical-themed Joseph
and then took a more devious turn as an aging mafia boss in Bonanno: A Godfather's Story
. In the '00s the small-screen again beckoned with roles on Without a Trace
, the short-lived The Evidence
, and a hilarious appearance on HBO's Entourage
, proving the sexagenarian was still a formidable talent. Meanwhile, he continued to keep busy with supporting roles in films that showcased his ability to inhabit an extraordinary range of diverse characters. While maintaining an active career with numerous film and TV projects, he also found the time to serve as Co-Artistic Director of the Actors Studio West.Martin Landau Fast Facts:
Began a five-year stint as a staff cartoonist for the New York Daily News at 17.
Of the 2,000 actors who auditioned in 1955 for admittance into Lee Strasberg's prestigious Actors Studio, only two were selected — Landau and Steve McQueen.
Starred in a failed 1973 NBC pilot called Savage that was directed by Steven Spielberg.
Played the title role in a touring production of Dracula in the mid '80s. In 1994, he played cinema's most famous Dracula, Bela Lugosi, Ed Wood.
In 2008, he appeared in the family fantasy adventure film City of Ember and the forbidden romance drama David & Fatima.
Was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Chicago International Film Festival in 2009.
Has served as a Co-Artistic Director of the Actors Studio West.
- Martin Landau Relationships:
- Gretchen Becker - Ex-significant Other
- Barbara Bain - Ex-wife
- Selma Landau - Mother
- Morris Landau - Father
- Susan Landau Finch - Daughter
- Juliet Landau - Daughter
- Martin Landau Awards:
- 1969 Emmy: Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Series - Nominee
- 1967 Emmy: Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Series - Nominee
- 1968 Emmy: Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Series - Nominee
- 2004 Emmy: Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series - Nominee
- 2005 Emmy: Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series - Nominee
- 1995 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture - Winner
- 1989 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture - Winner
- 1989 Oscar: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role - Nominee
- 1994 Oscar: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role - Winner
- 1988 Oscar: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role - Nominee
- 1968 Golden Globe: Actor in a Television Series - Winner
- 2007 Emmy: Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series - Nominee
- 1995 BAFTA Film Awards: Best Actor in a Supporting Role - Nominee
- 1994 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role - Winner
- Attended Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY