Hollywood mourns legend Martin Landau's demise

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Landau recently had a "brief stay" at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, but he died yesterday due to "unexpected complications". The Academy recognized his layered performance with a nomination, as did Woody Allen, who quickly cast him in another Oscar-nominated role, as an amoral ophthalmologist in 1989's Crimes and Misdemeanors. Ed Wood also garnered him a Screen Actors Guild award and a Golden Globe award. Landau would ultimately be instrumental in opening a West Coast branch of the Studio, and he'd continue teaching for the rest of his life.

For decades now, Martin Landau has been one of the most respectable elder statesmen in the entertainment industry, with prolific appearances in good films, bad films and every film in between. On the heels of the death of George Romero, Hollywood also said goodbye to Martin Landau. I will miss you.

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What may surprise many people out there now is that Landau had an opportunity to play another part in a classic series in Star Trek.

As well as acting, he returned to the Actors Studio to share his gift as a director and teacher, helping to advise and guide the likes of Jack Nicholson and Anjelica Huston. Landau didn't rest on his laurels, however; he continued to create memorable characters on the big and small screens until his death on July 15 at age 89. "In a well-written script, the dialogue ... is what [characters] are willing to share", Landau said in 2001. In Lugosi, the washed-up former star of 1930s horror films such as Count Dracula, Landau found a forerunner he could relate to. He had more success in TV, playing numerous guest roles in popular shows such as Gunsmoke, The Twilight Zone and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.

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"If I was an opera singer or a ballet dancer, I probably wouldn't be able to do that any longer, but being an actor playing old guys is kind of a gift", Landau told the Star, a South African publication.

A con artist at times, or a pickpocket, thug or other lowlife, Landau's Hand, the possessor of sleight of hand and various accents, also impersonated a bookseller, doctor, photographer or public prosecutor. "But I knew if I took that job I would never leave, so I quit". He is survived by two daughters, Susan Bain Landau Finch and Juliet Landau. That role helped make him famous and propelled him to a career that includes roles in Cleopatra, The Greatest Story Ever Told and They Call Me Mister Tibbs!

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