15 July 2017
Martin Landau has died. He was 89, and his death was confirmed by his publicist “following a short hospitalisation”.
Arguably Landau’s career high point arrived in 1995 when he won the best supporting actor Oscar for his role as Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood (1994), the Tim Burton-directed biopic of the infamous director of Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959) and other notorious films.
He is also well-remembered for his role in the original Mission: Impossible television series, where he portrayed Rollin Hand, an expert disguise artist. The role proved a tremendous showcase for Landau’s acting skills, allowing him to play multiple characters – often in the same episode.
After more than 70 episodes, three Emmy nominations and a Golden Globes award, Landau left the series after a contract dispute.
Viewers of a certain age, though, will remember him best for playing Commander John Koenig, the commander of Moonbase Alpha on Gerry Anderson’s cult TV show Space: 1999.