Martin Landau Dead at 89

Martin Landau at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival

Martin Landau at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival

"He had just celebrated his 89th birthday", Martin's rep told us. But he didn't see a future in that line of work. He was 17 when he began at the news outlet, and quit five years later to pursue an acting career after turning down a promotion. Landau said he found himself adrift, reduced to playing heavies in low-budget dreck.

"I think he enjoyed the challenge". And in the 1950s, he was best friends with James Dean and, for several months, the boyfriend of Marilyn Monroe.

The veteran actor rose to prominence after playing a homosexual henchman in Alfred Hitchcock's 1959 film "North by Northwest".

The school employed the Method philosophy, which calls on a performer to draw from his own, often painful, memories to illuminate a character. I will miss you.

Landau also is remembered for a role he did not get. Instead, however, he was stuck in roles as sinister heavies.

Landau portrayed washed-up Dracula actor Bela Lugosi in his final years, alongside Johnny Depp, Bill Murray and Sarah Jessica Parker. Arquette recalled working with the star on cult movie Ed Wood, calling her time with him "a joy", adding, "What a talented, sweet generous actor", while Matlin shared: "So sad to read about the passing of Martin Landau".

Landau was married for almost 40 years to actress Barbara Bain, though the two split in 1993.

Landau is survived by his daughters Susie and Juliet from his ex-wife Bain, whom he divorced in 1993, as well as his sister Elinor, granddaughter Aria, and godson Dylan.

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. The role of a seemingly decent, venerable man harboring a dark secret became a Landau specialty. Allen cited Landau as the one actor, "of all the actors I've ever worked with, he gives expression to my dialogue exactly as I hear it".

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.

Landau's career slowed somewhat in the 1970s, with sporadic television guest roles and parts in mostly forgettable movies sprinkled throughout the decade.

In a 2011 TV interview, he said, "I turned down Star Trek". "People thought I was nuts to play the character gay, which wasn't originally written that way". In 2008, he had a lead role in the indie romance Lovely, Still, opposite Ellen Burstyn. More recently, the actor had recurring roles on TV shows like Entourage and Without a Trace.

He also taught acting at the famed Actor's Studio, and at his death was serving as its artistic director, a post he shared with director Mark Rydell.

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