Martin Landau, Oscar winner and ‘Mission: Impossible’ star, dies at 89


Actor Martin Landau arriving at the AARP Magazine 10th Annual Movies For Grownups Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., Feb. 7, 2011. (Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Martin Landau, a versatile actor who won an Academy Award for the 1994 film “Ed Wood” and played a spy on TV’s “Mission: Impossible” in the 1960s, has died.

Landau died Saturday at the UCLA Medical Center of “unexpected complications” from surgery several days earlier, his publicist told media outlets. He was 89.

The Jewish actor won his Oscar for best supporting actor playing the fading horror film star Bela Lugosi in “Ed Wood,” a Tim Burton film. He had been nominated several times in the same category before snagging the award.

Landau’s career took off after his appearance in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 film “North by Northwest.” He appeared for three seasons as agent Rollin Hand on “Mission: Impossible” until 1969, when he and his actress wife, Barbara Bain, left over a contract dispute.

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He resurrected his career in 1988 with a role in Francis Ford Coppola’s “Tucker: The Man and his Dream,” for which he won a Golden Globe Award for best supporting actor, and then starred in Woody Allen’s “Crimes and Misdemeanors” in 1989.

Landau reportedly turned down the role of Mr. Spock on the NBC series “Star Trek,” which went to another Jewish actor, Leonard Nimoy.