Martin Landau, Jewish actor best known for his breakout role in the TV series "Mission: Impossible" passed away on Saturday at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles at the age of 89. But by that time he already had a deep resume in Hollywood, including appearances in such classics as "North by Northwest", "Cleopatra" and his Oscar-nominated role in "Tucker". "He had just celebrated his 89th birthday". I've seen it happen a lot.
The Brooklyn-born Landau was a 17-year-old senior at James Madison High School with a talent for art when he lied about his age and took a job at the paper, eventually going on to illustrate the popular comic strip "The Gumps".
Fans and celebrities, influenced by Landau's decades of work, paid tribute to the actor among numerous other credits. He also had prominent roles in the first X-Files movie (as a paranoid scientist), Rounders (as a poker-playing law professor), and The Majestic (as a bereaved gold-star father who mistakes amnesiac Jim Carrey for his long-lost son).
And Nimoy later replaced Landau on Mission: Impossible when the latter left following a dispute over pay. "Nobody knew me", he said later. I wasn't on anybody's list. "I mean, I always thought it looked like a piano".
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Landau most recently appeared in the 2015 TV film adaptation of the HBO series "Entourage". Star Trek creator Gene Rodenberry had offered him the role, but Landau turned it down.
Although well-reviewed, "Ed Wood" was not a commercial success, and Landau never fully capitalized on his renewed celebrity. Though the former show became a well-known TV and later movie franchise, it possibly cost Landau a chance at true sci-fi immortality, as he was reportedly the first choice to play Spock on the original Star Trek. "I will miss his work". He received another best supporting actor Oscar nomination for Woody Allen's 1989 morality fable "Crimes and Misdemeanors" in which he played murderous ophthalmologist Judah Rosenthal.
Patricia said in her tweet, "Working with Martin Landau on Ed Wood was a joy".
Landau had proposed making Leonard covertly gay and worked with screenwriter Ernest Lehman to craft a line about his "woman's intuition" - to be delivered before the character demonstrates how Mason's girlfriend (played by Eva Marie Saint) has betrayed them.