Martin Landau

Martin Landau

Landau in 2010
Born (1928-06-20) June 20, 1928
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Residence West Hollywood, California
Education James Madison High School
Alma mater Pratt Institute
Occupation Actor and acting coach
Years active 1956present
Organization Actors Studio
Religion Judaism[1]
Spouse(s) Barbara Bain (m. 1957; div. 1993)
Children Susan Bain Landau Finch
Juliet Landau

Martin Landau (born June 20, 1928) is an American film and television actor. His career started in the 1950s, with early film appearances including a supporting role in Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest (1959). He played regular roles in the television series Mission: Impossible (for which he received several Emmy Award nominations and a Golden Globe Award) and Space: 1999.

Landau received the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture, as well as his first nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, for his role in Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988); he received his second Oscar nomination for his appearance in Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989). His performance in the supporting role of Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood (1994) earned him an Academy Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Golden Globe Award. He continues to perform in film and TV and heads the Hollywood branch of the Actors Studio.

Early life

Landau was born in Brooklyn, New York on June 20, 1928,[2] the son of Selma and Morris Landau.[3] His family was Jewish; his father, an Austrian-born machinist, scrambled to rescue relatives from the Nazis.[4][5] He attended James Madison High School and the Pratt Institute before finding full-time work as a cartoonist.[6]



At the age of 17, Landau started working as a cartoonist for the Daily News, illustrating Billy Rose's column "Pitching Horseshoes" and also assisting Gus Edson on the comic strip The Gumps during the 1940s and 1950s, eventually drawing the "Sunday strip" for Edson.[7] (Some sources confuse him with comic book artist Kenneth Landau, and incorrectly claim that he drew for comic books using the name Ken Landau as a pseudonym.)[8] At 22, he quit the Daily News to concentrate on theater acting.

Film, television and theater

Influenced by Charlie Chaplin and the escapism of the cinema, Landau pursued an acting career. He attended the Actors Studio, becoming good friends with James Dean, and was later in the same class as Steve McQueen. In 1957, he made his Broadway debut in Middle of the Night. In 1959, Landau made his first major film appearance, as Leonard, right-hand man of a criminal mastermind, in Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest.

Landau in his role as Rollin Hand in Mission: Impossible

He had featured roles in two 1960s epics, Cleopatra and The Greatest Story Ever Told, and played a ruthless killer in the 1965 western Nevada Smith, which starred Steve McQueen.

Landau played the role of master of disguise Rollin Hand in the US television series Mission: Impossible, becoming one of its better-known stars. According to The Complete Mission: Impossible Dossier by Patrick J. White (Avon Books, 1991), Landau at first declined to be contracted by the show because he did not want it to interfere with his film career; instead, he was credited for "special guest appearances" during the first season. He became a full-time cast member in the second season, although the studio agreed (at Landau's request) to contract him only on a year-by-year basis rather than the then-standard five years. The role of Hand required Landau to perform a wide range of accents and characters, from dictators to thugs, and several episodes had him playing dual rolesnot only Hand's impersonation, but also the person whom Hand is impersonating. Landau co-starred in the series with his then-wife, Barbara Bain.

In the mid-1970s, Landau and Bain returned to TV in the British science-fiction series Space: 1999 (first produced by Gerry Anderson in partnership with Sylvia Anderson, and later by Fred Freiberger). Although the series remains a cult classic for its high production values, critical response to Space: 1999 was unenthusiastic during its original run, and it was cancelled after two seasons. Landau himself was critical of the scripts and storylines, especially during the series' second season, but praised the cast and crew. He later wrote forewords to Space: 1999 co-star Barry Morse's theatrical memoir Remember With Advantages (2006) and Jim Smith's critical biography of Tim Burton. Following Space: 1999, Landau appeared in supporting roles in a number of films and TV series, including the TV film The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island (1981), which again co-starred Bain (and marked the final time they appeared together on screen).

In the late 1980s, Landau made a career comeback, earning an Academy Award nomination for his role in Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988). This was followed by a second nomination, for 1989's Crimes and Misdemeanors, and later a win, for 1994's Ed Wood (in which he plays Bela Lugosi). Upon accepting the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, Landau was visibly frustrated by the orchestra's attempt to cut short his speech; when the music level rose, he pounded his fist on the podium and shouted "No!"[9] He later stated that he had intended to thank Lugosi and dedicate the award to him, and that he was annoyed that he was not being given an opportunity to mention the name of the person he had portrayed.[10] Landau also received a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Golden Globe Award and a Saturn Award for the role, as well as accolades from a number of critics groups.[11] When Landau won the Academy Award, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times announced: "the award goes to Martin Landau; its shadow goes to Bela Lugosi." On the film's DVD release, Landau states that he was highly impressed by the comment.

Landau's film roles in the 1990s included a down-on-his-luck Hollywood producer in the comedy Mistress with Robert De Niro and as a judge in the dramas City Hall with Al Pacino and Rounders with Matt Damon.

In the early seasons of Without a Trace (200209), Landau was nominated for an Emmy Award for his portrayal of the Alzheimer's-afflicted father of FBI Special Agent in Charge Jack Malone, the series' lead character. In 2006, he made a guest appearance in the series Entourage as a washed-up but determined and sympathetic Hollywood producer attempting to relive his glory days, a portrayal that earned him a second Emmy nomination.

Landau appeared in the film Have a Little Faith based on Mitch Albom's book of the same name, in which he plays Rabbi Albert Lewis.[12]

In recognition of his services to the motion picture industry, Martin Landau has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6841 Hollywood Boulevard.

Acting coach

Encouraged by his own mentor, Lee Strasberg, Landau has also taught acting. Actors coached by him include Jack Nicholson and Anjelica Huston. In 2009, Landau and his Actors Studio colleagues, director Mark Rydell and writer Lyle Kessler, collaborated to produce the educational Total Picture Seminar, a two-day event covering the disciplines of acting, directing and writing for film.

Personal life

Landau has two daughters, Susan and Juliet, from his marriage to actress and former co-star Barbara Bain. They married on January 31, 1957 and divorced in 1993. Landau lives in West Hollywood, California.



Year Title Role Notes
1959 Pork Chop Hill Lieutenant Marshall
1959 North by Northwest Leonard
1959 Gazebo, TheThe Gazebo The Duke, a.k.a. A. Wellington Broos
1962 Stagecoach to Dancers' Rock Dade Coleman
1963 Decision at Midnight Nils
1963 Cleopatra Rufio
1964 Twilight Zone, TheThe Twilight Zone Agent Gruchenko
1965 Hallelujah Trail, TheThe Hallelujah Trail Chief Walks-Stooped-Over
1965 Greatest Story Ever Told, TheThe Greatest Story Ever Told Caiaphas
1966 Nevada Smith Jesse Coe
1970 Operation Snafu Joe Mellone
1970 They Call Me Mister Tibbs! Logan Sharpe
1971 A Town Called Bastard The Colonel
1972 Black Gunn Capelli
1976 Strange Shadows in an Empty Room Dr. George Tracer
1979 Meteor Major General Adlon
1979 The Death of Ocean View Park Tom Flood
1980 Without Warning Fred "Sarge" Dobbs
1980 Last Word, TheThe Last Word Captain Garrity
1980 Return, TheThe Return Niles Buchanan
1982 Alone in the Dark Byron "Preacher" Sutcliff
1983 Trial by Terror
1983 The Being Garson Jones
1984 Access Code Agency Head
1984 Terror in the Aisles Archival footage
1985 Treasure Island Old Captain
1987 W.A.R.: Women Against Rape Judge Shaw
1987 Cyclone Bosarian
1987 Sweet Revenge Cicero
1987 Empire State Chuck
1987 Delta Fever Bud
1987 Run If You Can Malvani
1988 Tucker: The Man and His Dream Abe Karatz / Voice of Walter Winchell Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor (shared with Tom Cruise and Dean Stockwell)
Utah Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
1989 Paint It Black Daniel Lambert
1989 The Neon Empire Max
1989 Crimes and Misdemeanors Judah Rosenthal Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor

Nominated — Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor

1990 Real Bullets Sallini
1991 Firehead Admiral Pendleton
1992 Mistress Jack Roth
1993 No Place to Hide Frank McCoy
1993 Sliver Alex Parsons
1994 Eye of the Stranger Mayor Howard Bains
1994 The Color of Evening Max Loeb
1994 Intersection Neal
1994 Ed Wood Bela Lugosi Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Saturn Award for Best Actor
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Society of Texas Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated — Utah Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
1994 Time Is Money Mac
1996 Elevator, TheThe Elevator Roy Tilden
1996 City Hall Judge Walter Stern
1996 Adventures of Pinocchio, TheThe Adventures of Pinocchio Mister Geppetto
1997 B*A*P*S Mr. Donald Blakemore
1997 Legend of the Spirit Dog Storyteller Voice role
1998 X Files, TheThe X Files Alvin Kurtzweil, MD
1998 Rounders Abe Petrovsky
1999 EDtv Al
1999 Carlo's Wake Carlo Torello
1999 Joyriders, TheThe Joyriders Gordon Trout
1999 New Adventures of Pinocchio, TheThe New Adventures of Pinocchio Geppetto
1999 Sleepy Hollow Peter Van Garrett Uncredited
2000 Ready to Rumble Sal Bandini
2000 Shiner Frank Spedding
2000 In the Beginning Abraham
2000 Very Mean Men Mr. White
2001 Majestic, TheThe Majestic Harry Trimble
2003 Hollywood Homicide Jerry Duran
2003 Wake Older Sebastian Riven
2003 The Commission Senator Richard Russell
2004 Aryan Couple, TheThe Aryan Couple Joseph Krauzenberg
2006 Love Made Easy Don Farinelli Sr
2006 An Existential Affair Doctor
2008 David & Fatima Rabbi Schmulic
2008 City of Ember Sul
2008 Billy: The Early Years Older Charles Templeton
2008 Harrison Montgomery Harrison Montgomery
2008 Lovely, Still Robert Malone
2008 Ivory Leon Spencer
2009 9 2 Voice role
2012 Frankenweenie Mr. Rzykruski Voice role
2015 Entourage Bob Ryan
2015 Remember Max


Year Title Role Notes
1957 Harbormaster First Mate Episode: "Sanctuary"
1958 Lawman Bob Ford Episode: "The Outcast"
1958 Sugarfoot Jim Kelly Episode: "The Ghost"
1959 The Lawless Years Silva Episode: "Lucky Silva"
The Twilight Zone Dan Hotaling Episode: "Mr. Denton on Doomsday"
Johnny Staccato Jerry Lindstrom Episode: "Murder for Credit"
Tales of Wells Fargo Doc Holliday Episode: "Doc Holliday"
1960 Tate John Chess Episode: "Tigrero"
Johnny Ringo Wes Tymon Episode: "The Derelict"
The Islanders Arnie Episode: "Duel of Strangers"
Adventures in Paradise Sackett Episode: "Nightmare on Nakupa"
Wagon Train Preacher Episode: "The Cathy Eckhart Story"
1961 Adventures in Paradise Miller Episode: "Mr. Flotsam"
Bonanza Emiliano Episode: "The Gift"
The Rifleman Miguel Episode: "The Vaqueros"
The Tall Man Francisco Episode: "Dark Moment"
The Law and Mr. Jones Episode: "Lincoln"
The Detectives Starring Robert Taylor Vince Treynor Episode: "Shadow of His Brother"
1962 The Tall Man Father Gueschim Episode: "The Black Robe"
1963 The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters Cochio Episode: "The Day of the Killer"
Mr. Novak Victor Rand Episode: "Pay the Two Dollars"
The Outer Limits Andro Episode: "The Man Who Was Never Born"
1964 The Defenders Dr. Daniel Orren Episode: "The Secret"
The Greatest Show on Earth Mario de Mona Episode: "The Night the Monkey Died"
The Alfred Hitchcock Hour Lawyer Episode: "Second Verdict"
The Outer Limits Richard Bellero Episode: "The Bellero Shield"
The Twilight Zone Major Ivan Kuchenko Episode: "The Jeopardy Room"
The Ghost of Sierra de Cobre Nelson Orion Television film
1965 Mr. Novak Robert Coolidge Episode: "Enter a Strange Animal"
A Man Called Shenandoah Jace Miller Episode: "The Locket"
The Big Valley Mariano Montoya Episode: "The Way to Kill a Killer"
1966 Branded Edwin Booth Episode: "This Stage of Fools"
1966–1969 Mission: Impossible Rollin Hand Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (1967, 1968, 1969)
1969 Get Smart Max's new face Episode: "Pheasant Under Glass"
1972 Welcome Home, Johnny Bristol Johnny Bristol Television film
1973 Columbo Identical-twin brothers Dexter Paris and Norman Paris Episode: "Double Shock"
1975–1977 Space: 1999 Commander John Koenig, leader of Moonbase Alpha 48 episodes
1981 The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island J.J. Pierson
1982 The Fall of the House of Usher Roderick Usher Television film
1985 The New Twilight Zone William Cooper-Janes Episode: "The Beacon/One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty"
1990 Max and Helen Simon Wiesenthal Nominated — CableACE Award for Supporting Actor in a Movie or Miniseries
1990 By Dawn's Early Light President of the United States Nominated — CableACE Award for Actor in a Movie or Miniseries
1992 Legacy of Lies Abraham Resnick CableACE Award for Supporting Actor in a Movie or Miniseries
1993 12:01 Dr. Thadius Moxley
1994 Spider-Man The Scorpion/Mac Gargan Voice, seasons 1-2
1995 Joseph Jacob Television film
1999 Bonanno: A Godfather's Story Joseph Bonanno (age 94)
2000 In the Beginning Abraham
2004–2009 Without a Trace Frank Malone 5 episodes
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (2004, 2005)
2006 The Evidence Dr. Sol Gold 8 episodes
2006–2008 Entourage Bob Ryan 4 episodes
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
2009 In Plain Sight Joseph Thomas/Joseph Tancredi Training video, special guest appearance
2011 The Simpsons The Great Raymondo Guest voice appearance
Episode: "The Great Simpsina"
2011 Have a Little Faith Rabbi Albert Lewis
2013 The Anna Nicole Story J. Howard Marshall II Lifetime movie
2014 Outlaw Prophet: Warren Jeffs Rulon Jeffs Lifetime movie

See also


  1. "Martin Landau". Jewish Virtual Library.
  2. An article interview with The Boston Globe, dated October 8, 1989, states that Landau was then 61 years old, indicating that he was born in 1928. Landau and his parents are also listed on the 1930 United States Federal Census (United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Brooklyn, Kings, New York, District 1269, Page 15B, Line 74), with Landau's age listed as being 21 months; The Boston Globe Pqasb,
  3. Martin Landau biography.
  4. Pfefferman, Naomi. The 'Majestic' Martin Landau. December 21, 2001.
  6. Welsh, Phillips, and Hill, p. 159.
  7. Lindsey, Robert. "Martin Landau Rolls Up in a New Vehicle". The New York Times. 7 August 1988.
  8. News From ME: POV Online
  9. TotalFilm video Archived March 6, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. Awards for Ed Wood.
  12., retrieved July 1, 2011.


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