Award winning actor Martin Landau died July 15 in Los Angeles as a result of unexpected complications from an undisclosed illness at the age of 89.
By Georges Biard, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10095118
Landau is best known to sixties television fans as Rollin Hand on the crime fighting drama “Mission: Impossible”. In the seventies he portrayed the commander of moon base Alpha on “Space 1999”. He appeared on both shows with then wife Barbara Bain.
By Paramount Television – eBay itemphoto frontphoto back, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19402148
Reportedly Landau turned down what would go on to become a very iconic role – that of Mr. Spock on “Star Trek”. Landau left “Mission: Impossible” in 1973, only to be replaced by Leonard Nimoy – the man who took the role of Mr. Spock.
He made his television debut in 1953 in an episode of The Goldbergs. From there Landau went on to appear in over 100 television productions including “Maverick”, “Tales of Wells Faro” as Doc Holliday, “Rawhide”, “Wanted Dead or Alive”, “Wagon Train”, “Bonanza”, “The Rifleman”, “The Untouchables”, “The Outer Limits”, “The Twilight Zone”, “I Spy”, “The Big Valley”, “The Wild Wild West”, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”, “Gunsmoke”, 76 episodes of “Mission: Impossible” as Rollin Hand – man of many disguises, 48 episodes of “Space 1999” as Commander John Koenig, “Hotel”, “Murder, She Wrote”, “Bionic Woman”, “Spider-Man”, “Entourage”, “Without a Trace”, “In Plain Sight”, and “The Simpsons”.
He made his screen debut in 1959 in “Pork Chop Hill” and appeared in “North by Northwest”. His other roles include “Cleopatra”, “The Greatest Story Ever Told”, “They Call Me Mister Tibbs!” as Logan Sharpe, “The Fall of the House of Usher”, “Treasure Island” as the Captain, “Mistress”, “Ed Wood” as Bela Lugosi, “The Adventures of Pinocchio” as Geppetto, “The Elevator”, “The X-Files”, “Edtv”, and “The Majestic”.
“Without Ward” is in post production, “Nate & Al” is in pre-production, and the short “Herstory” was announced prior to his death.
Landau has won an Academy Award for his role in “Ed Wood” and a Golden Globe Award for his role on “Mission: Impossible”.
The son of Eastern European Jewish immigrants, Landau was born on June 20, 1928 in Brooklyn, New York. While still in high school he worked as an illustrator for the New York Daily News. At 22 he entered the Actors Studio to study acting. Of the hundreds of hopefuls that auditioned, he and Steve McQueen were the only two chosen for the program that year.
He is survived by his daughters Susan and Juliet, a granddaughter Aria, sister Elinor, and ex-wife actress Barbara Bain.
Sherrill is an award winning journalist and photographer. Her specialty is music, entertainment, and sports.To date she has had over 6,000 works published - including profiles, news pieces, reviews, and obituaries; both in print and online. She has covered 100's of concerts and conducted numerous interviews including members of One Republic, Clannad, Celtic Thunder, The Wiggles, the J. Geils Band, DoDriver, More Than Me, abd Thunderhand Joe and the Medicine Show.She has also co-authored a book on the history of a Rochester New York Congregation.She is also a photographer and artist whose photographs can be seen in some of her articles.Unless otherwise stated, the photos that appear in the articles belong to her.Sherrill makes her home in the western New York area.Sherrill contributes music and sports news for The Daily Voice News.Contact her at: [email protected]