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Mission: Impossible's Martin Landau Dead at 89

Landau was an Oscar winner for Ed Wood

Liam Mathews

Martin Landau, the iconic actor best known for Mission: Impossible and Ed Wood, died Saturday. He was 89.

Landau's breakout came in Alfred Hitchcock's 1959 thriller North by Northwest, where he played James Mason's henchman.

He earned six Emmy nominations throughout his career, most notably three consecutive Lead Actor nominations from 1967 to 1969 for playing villainous master of disguise Rollin Hand on Mission: Impossible. He co-starred on the show with his then-wife Barbara Bain. He and Bain also appeared together in the mid-70s on the series Space: 1999.

Martin Landau, Mission: Impossible

Martin Landau, Mission: Impossible

CBS Photo Archive, CBS via Getty Images

He experienced a career decline in the late '70s through most of the '80s before making a comeback in movies, earning Oscar nominations for Francis Ford Coppola's Tucker: The Man and His Dream and Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors. He finally won an Oscar in 1994 for his unforgettable performance as past-his-prime horror movie star Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton's Ed Wood.

Before he became an actor, he was a cartoonist for the New York Daily News. He trained at the legendary Actors Studio, where he studied under Lee Strasberg and Elia Kazan. His classmates included Steve McQueen and James Dean. He eventually became an executive director of the studio and taught acting himself.

Landau was born in Brooklyn on June 20, 1928. He is survived by two daughters, Susan and Juliet, with Bain, to whom he was married from 1957 to 1993.