"Despite the trash, he had a certain dignity about him, whatever the role". His talents didn't end there. A gifted mimic trained in method acting, Landau had thoroughly researched the role. "To become an actor was a dream I must've had so deeply and so strongly because I left a lucrative, well-paying job that I could do well to become an unemployed actor".
With his dark hair and penetrating blue eyes, Landau found success on NY stages in Goat Song, Stalag 17 and First Love. He was everywhere again, usually cast as sober authority figures - lawyers, judges, doctors, the President - all the while working his way towards Tim Burton's Ed Wood. "I knew I wanted to go into the theater". His character, a henchman who menaces star Cary Grant, meets his demise beneath the Mount Rushmore busts of U.S. presidents. With his slick, sinister gleam and calculating demeanor, he attracted the notice of producers and directors. His classmates included Steve McQueen and James Dean. "Before that I did several films that should be turned into toothpicks". He was Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry's first pick to portray pointy eared Vulcan Mr. Spock, an iconic role that eventually went to Leonard Nimoy.
That 1995 Golden Globe Award, his second for best supporting actor in a movie, trailed one for his role as an emigre financier in the story about a maverick auto designer, "Tucker: The Man and His Dream" (1989).
It wasn't until 1994, though, that the award shows finally showered Landau with the recognition he always deserved.
He won his Oscar for best supporting actor playing the fading horror film star Bela Lugosi in "Ed Wood", a Tim Burton film.
Martin Landau, Jewish actor best known for his breakout role in the TV series "Mission: Impossible" passed away on Saturday at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles at the age of 89. "[Strasberg taught me that] a certain actor's arrogance is needed", Landau said in 2016.
But his most far reaching presence in the mainstream was through television on shows like The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, Gunsmoke, The Rifleman, Space: 1999, The Untouchables, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and many others.
Recently, Landau was in the middle of writing a yet-to-be-named memoir "touching upon his rich accomplishments and association with other leading lights of theatre, film and television", the statement said.