Birth Date: June 20, 1931 / Age: 86
Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York, USA
Biography: Martin Landau (born June 20, 1931) is an American film and television actor. He is perhaps most well known for his roles in the television series Mission: Impossible (1966 - 1969) and Space: 1999 (1975 - 1977).
Landau was born to a Jewish family in Brooklyn, New York, and at the age of 17 began working as a cartoonist for the New York Daily News, but influenced by Charlie Chaplin and the escapism of the cinema, he pursued becoming an actor. He attended the Actors Studio in the same class with Steve McQueen and in 1957, Landau made his Broadway debut in Middle of the Night. Encouraged by his mentor Lee Strasberg, Landau also taught acting. Some of the actors he has coached include Jack Nicholson and Anjelica Huston.
In the 1959, Landau made his first major film appearance in Alfred Hitchcock's, North by Northwest. A few years later, after turning down the role of Mr. Spock in Star Trek, Landau took the role of master of disguise Rollin Hand in Mission: Impossible, becoming one of that show's best-known stars. He co-starred in the series with his then-wife, Barbara Bain, and the two left after the third season due to a salary dispute.
In the mid-1970s, Landau and Bain returned to television in the British science fiction series, Space: 1999. Although it remains a cult classic, the series was critically derided during its run and was cancelled after two seasons; Landau himself became very critical of the show's scripts and storylines near the end.
After Space: 1999, Landau appeared in supporting roles in a number of films and TV shows of varying quality, including The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island (which again co-starred Bain).
In the late 1980s, Landau staged a major career comeback by winning an Academy Award nomination for his role in Tucker: The Man and His Dream. He later received a second nomination for Crimes and Misdemeanors and won the Best Supporting Actor award in 1994 for his uncanny portrayal of Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood.
He has two daughters, Susan and Juliet, from his marriage to Barbara Bain. Landau and Bain married in 1957 and divorced in 1993.
For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Martin Landau has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6841 Hollywood Blvd.