US/World News

Oscar winner Martin Landau was 89

(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, died Saturday, July 15 at UCLA Medical Center of “unexpected complications” from surgery several days earlier. He was 89.

Landau 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.

His 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 the hit TV show “Mission: Impossible” until 1969, when he and his actress wife, Barbara Bain, left over a contract dispute. 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.

CAP: Actor Martin Landau in February 2011. (Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

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