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He died on Saturday at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles during a short hospitalisation for an undisclosed illness, publicist Dick Guttman said in a statement.

Martin Landau's influence in the film industry is vast, inspiring countless actors and directors. At the 1995 Academy Awards, he won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of actor Bela Lugosi in "Ed Wood".

Landau had been doing television work since the 1950s but got busy in TV in the mid-'60s, with several guest appearances on sci-fier "The Outer Limits" and spy skein "The Man From U.N.C.L.E".

Nimoy then replaced Landau on "Mission: Impossible" when he left in a salary dispute. But the series had served its objective. Landau could have landed another major role in an illustrious series, Star Trek, but he ultimately said no. After landing his big break in Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest, He appeared on numerous TV shows like Bonanza, The Untouchables, and The Twilight Zone. Landau starred alongside Jeff Bridges, who played his character's business partner, Preston Tucker. Landau was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the 1988 Oscars, and though he didn't win, he did land another nomination in the next year for his role in Woody Allen's Crimes And Misdemeanors. He won the Oscar for the "Ed Wood" role.

Landau had been described as a "guiding force" in the Actors Studio for over 60 years, and was serving as Artistic Director of Actors Studio West at the time of his death. "I was a bad guy by profession, a heavy in a certain kind of tacky movie". And I know if I got that job, I'd never quit.

A precociously gifted artist, Landau had been a cartoonist, illustrator and theater caricaturist at the New York Daily News in his teens before embarking on an acting career at 22.

There was also higher-profile work: Landau starred with Judy Parfitt in 2004 Holocaust drama "The Aryan Couple". That same year he made his off-Broadway debut in "First Love" at the Provincetown Playhouse in Greenwich Village.

Landau was also an acclaimed acting coach, teaching the likes of Jack Nicholson. "I didn't have to be a waiter". But so what? I'm not gay.

His film roles ranged from the grand to the quirky, from "Cleopatra" to "The Greatest Story Ever Told".

A familiar face on TV, Landau played Rollin Hand on the hit series "Mission: Impossible" from 1966-1969, winning a Golden Globe Award and receiving Emmy nominations each season.

"Ed Wood", starring Martin Landau and Johnny Depp.


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