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Martin Landau

Every actor looks forward to the role of a lifetime, but great actors undertake them frequently. Martin Landau's latest role-of-a-lifetime is the highly anticipated Lovely, Still, a culmination of two of the most storied Oscar-winning acting careers in Hollywood, those of Landau and Ellen Burstyn. The emotion-packed story of later-in-life love, is a celebration of the craft and genius of acting.

Landau, winner of the 1994 Best Supporting Oscar for his portrayal of Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton's Ed Wood, had also been nominated for an Academy Award twice before, first in 1988 for his performance as Abe Karatz in Francis Coppoa's Tucker, and again for his role as Judah Rosenthal in Woody Allen's Crimes And. He is the only performer ever to receive every honor awarded in his category in for a specific year.

In addition to his Academy Award nominations, Landau's honors for Ed Wood was unprecedented. He received The Hollywood Foreign Press's Golden Globe Award, The Screen Actor's Guild's first annual award, The Actor, The American Comedy Award, The New York Film Critics Award, The National Society of Film Critics Award, The Chicago Film Critics Award, The Los Angeles Film Critics Award, The Boston Film Critics Award and the Texas Film Critics Award. All this was for his work in a film about the worst director in Hollywood.

One of the most active of film and television performers, he is also one of the world's most acknowledge and sought after acting teachers. A proud member of The Actors Studio, he has continued that great teaching institution by co-heading Actors Studio West with renowned director Mark Rydell for many years. He has been personal instructor for many of Hollywood's greatest stars.

He is returning this year to his Emmy nominated guest role in the HBO hit original series Entourage, playing the producing legend, Bob Ryan. Another startling recent performance was in The Aryan Couple," with Judy Parfitt, a festival-honored theatrical film written and directed by Landau's longtime friend, partner and fellow Oscar winner, John Daly. For this performance, set against the terrors of Nazi persecutions,Landau was honored with the following awards: Milano International Film Festival ( Best Actor); Jewish Image Awards (Best Male Role); Sacramento Film Festival (Visionary Artist); Santa Barbara Jewish Film Festival (Visionary Award), Method Film Festival ( Lifetime Achievement); and the Granada Film Festival (Best Actor).

Mr. Landau has reeived six Emmy nomination including two guest starring appearances on Without A Trace, playing Anthony LaPaglia's father, a man in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's, and for his earlier work on Entourage. In addition to dozens of made-for-TV and cable movies and hundreds of guest-starring appearances in episodic shows, television viewers around the world are familiar with the two hit series in which Landau starred, Mission: Impossible, and Space: 1999. Both of these series still air in countries around the globe.

Born in Brooklyn, NY, he studied art at the prestigious Pratt Institute, regarded as one of America's finest art schools. Then at seventeen, he worked as an artist for the New York Daily News, the newspaper with the country's largest circulation, illustrating Billy Rose's column, Pitching Horseshoes, as well as other comic strips. Needing a new challenge, he resigned from the newspaper and begun studying theater in his early twenties. When he auditioned for the Actor's Studio, he was one of 2000 applicants. That year only Martin Landau and Steve McQueen were accepted.

Gaining experience under the tutelage of some of the theater's greatest directors at the Actor's Studio (Strasberg, Elia Kazan, Harold Clurman, Bobby Lewis and Curt Conway), Landau soon moved into professional theater. He played Juvan in Franz Werfel's Goat Song, a role originated by Alfred Lunt, as well as other stage successes, including Stalag 17, First Love, The Penguin and Middle of the Night.

During this Broadway period, when the new mass medium of live television was being born, Landau starred in countless tv programs. He played John the Baptist opposite Eartha Kitt and Patricia Neal in Omibus Presents Oscar Wilde's Salome as well as other appearances on Studio One, The Philico Playhouse, Goodyerar Playhouse, Kraft Theater, Armstronh Circle Theater plus dozens more during TV's Golden Age.

After appearing on Broadway for more than a year in Paddy Chayefsky's hit play, Middle of the Night, directed by Josh Logan and starring Edward G. Robinson, Landau toured in the show on the West Coast and was seen by well-known film directors and producers such as Alfred Hitchcock, Lewis Milestone and George Stevens. When the show closed, Landau worked with Hitchcock (North By Northwest), Stevens (The Greatest Story Ever Told), Milestone (Pork Chop Hill), John Sturges (The Hallelujah Trail), Henry Hathaway (Nevada Smith), and Joseph L. Mankiewicz (Cleopatra). In this latter film, he co-starred with Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Rex Harrison.

Landau has starred in more than 75 feature films working with all the greats of Hollywood, including Cary Grant, Glen Ford, Sean Connery, Natalie Wood, Steve Mc Queen, Richard Gere, Sharon Stone, Jeff Bridges, Robert De Niro, Barbara Stanwyck and Gregory Peck, and the roster of directors includes Steven Spielberg, Francis Coppola and Woody Allen, Tim Burton, Frank Darabount and Ron Howard.

He has also been a director and a teacher since Lee Strasberg chose him as a teaching protégé, working with such actors as James Dean, Warren Oates, Harry Dean Stanton, Anjelica Huston and Jack Nicholson. Nicholson worked under Landau's aegis for three consecutive years early in his career.

In addition to his three Golden Globe Awards, and Emmy nominations, Landau has received three CableACE nominations, one CableACE, for his work in TV-cable movies, the Belgian viewers Best Actor Award, and the Brazilian Saci Award. His biography is also featured in both WHO'S WHO IN AMERICA and WHO'S WHO IN s awards: The German Golden Camera Award for Lifetime Achievement at the Berlin 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, The Lifetime Achievement Award from the Charleston Film Festival and the Lifetime achievement Award from the San Diego Film Festival, and the Los Angeles Method Film Festival.

One of Hollywood's busiest actors, some of his recent films include, The Majestic, with Jim Carrey, directed by Frank Durabount, Hollywood Homicide, with Harrison Ford and Josh Harnett, directed by Ron Shelton, Ron Howard's Ed TV, with Matthew McConaughey, X-Files: The Movie, Rounders, with Matt Damon and Edward Norton, and Shiner with Michael Caine. Other projects include the independent films Ready to Rumble, Very Mean Men, The Committee, and Carlo's Wake. He also returned to the stage, starring in The Long Wharf Theater premiere of Sixteen Wounded, by Eliam Kraiem.

In addition to his acting, Landau is also currently executive director at the Actor's Studio on the West Coast, a post he shares with directors Mark Rydell and formerly with Sydney Pollack.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2008.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Martin Landau Facts

BirthdayJune 20, 1931 (92)
BirthplaceBrooklyn, New York, USA
Height6' 3" (1m91)  How tall is Martin Landau compared to you?
Awards1995 Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor (for Ed Wood)
1995 Golden Globe Awards: Best Actor in a Supporting Role - Motion Picture (for Ed Wood)
1995 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role (for Ed Wood)
1989 Golden Globe Awards: Best Actor in a Supporting Role - Motion Picture (for Tucker: The Man and His Dream)

Selected Filmography

Lovely, Still
North By Northwest
Anna Nicole
Ready to Rumble
The Widow
City of Ember
The Heir Apparent
Continue » Find more details on the Martin Landau Movies page