In Memoriam: Martin Landau
Today is a pretty exciting day for geek culture. We have a reveal of a new Doctor on Doctor Who and a new episode of Game of Thrones is out. First though we’re going to take the time to mark the passing of some great figures.
Recently we’ve been marathoning the original series of The Twilight Zone (reviews coming soon) and noticed a familiar face in the third of the 150+ episodes.
Hey, that’s Martin Landau! Man, that guy’s been working in the business forever! Me and my big mouth.
Landau was born in Brooklyn in 1928 and got his first job in the media at 17 as an editorial cartoonist at the New York ‘Daily News’. Inspired by Charlie Chaplin he left this job to attend the Actors Studio with his close friend James Dean (you may have heard of him). Five years later Landau made his Broadway debut in Middle of the Night and appeared on shows such Sugarfoot, Gunsmoke and The Twilight Zone before landing his first big movie role in North By Northwest, working with none other than Alfred Hitchcock.
From there Landau was a regular feature on screens big and small. Cleopatra, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Tucker: The Man and His Dream, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Intersection, The X-Files, Mission: Impossible, The Outer Limits, Space: 1999 and Entourage are all on his resume.
Out of all his roles the one that we love most is his Academy Award winning turn as an ageing Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood. His heartfelt performance speaks volumes about his respect for the classic horror star, and he delivers the most emotional and brilliantly funny moments in Tim Burton’s best film to date.
Martin Landau passed away on July 15th, 2017, aged 89. Rest in Peace.