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Martin Landau won the Academy Award, the Screen Actors Guild Award, and the Golden Globe Award for his unforgettable performance as Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood, directed by 9 producer Tim Burton. The portrayal also earned him Best Supporting Actor honors from the New York Film Critics Circle, the National Society of Film Critics, and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, among others.
Mr. Landau has been nominated for the Academy Award two more times, for his portrayal of Judah Rosenthal in Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors; and for his performance as Abe Karatz in Francis Coppola’s Tucker: The Man and His Dream, for which he won a Golden Globe Award.
Born in Brooklyn, NY, Mr. Landau studied art at the prestigious Pratt Institute. At age 17, he worked as an artist for The New York Daily News, at that time the newspaper with the country’s largest circulation, illustrating Billy Rose’s column “Pitching Horseshoes” as well as comic strips. In his early 20s, he switched to studying theater. He auditioned for the Actors Studio; that year, out of 2,000 applicants only he and Steve McQueen were accepted.
At the Studio, he trained under the tutelage of some of the theater’s greatest directors – Lee Strasberg, Elia Kazan, Harold Clurman, Bobby Lewis, and Curt Conway. Mr. Landau soon segued into professional theater, in such successes as Goat Song, First Love, The Penguin, and Stalag 17.
Concurrently, he appeared on countless programs in television’s Golden Age, and many of these were live broadcasts. He played John the Baptist opposite Eartha Kitt and Patricia Neal in Omnibus presents Oscar Wilde’s “Salome” and starred on everything from Studio One to The Philco Playhouse.
After starring on Broadway with Edward G. Robinson for more than a year in Paddy Chayefsky’s hit play Middle of the Night, directed by Josh Logan, Mr. Landau toured in the show. Once the show closed, he became and remains one of Hollywood’s busiest movie performers, having played in some 130 features.
These have included Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest; George Stevens’ The Greatest Story Ever Told; Lewis Milestone’s Pork Chop Hill; John Sturges’ The Hallelujah Trail; Henry Hathaway’s Nevada Smith; Joseph L. Mankiewicz’ Cleopatra; Steven Spielberg’s telefilm Savage; Mark Rydell’s Intersection; Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow; Ron Howard’s Ed TV; Frank Darabont’s The Majestic; Gil Kenan’s City of Ember; Nicholas Fackler’s Lovely, Still; and John Daly’s The Aryan Couple, for which he was honored with several awards including the Jewish Image Award for Best Male Role.
Mr. Landau has received six Emmy Award nominations; two for his recurring role opposite Anthony LaPaglia on Without a Trace, one for his recurring role on Entourage, and three for his starring role on the classic television series Mission: Impossible. His many television credits also include starring on the hit series Space: 1999.
He remains a proud member of the Actors Studio, and has been a director and a teacher ever since Lee Strasberg chose him as a teaching protégé. He is currently the artistic director at Actors Studio West, a post he shares with director Mark Rydell. Mr. Landau has taught such actors as James Dean, Warren Oates, Harry Dean Stanton, Anjelica Huston, and Jack Nicholson.
He has been accorded such career honors as the Golden Camera Award for Lifetime Achievement at the Berlin International Film Festival; the REMI Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Houston Film Festival; the Wedgewood Award for Lifetime Achievement from the renowned Goodman Theater of Chicago; and the Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Charleston, San Diego, and Method Film Festivals.