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Martin Landau, Legendary ‘Ed Wood’ and ‘North by Northwest’ Actor, Dies at 89

He won an Academy Award for his role in Tim Burton's affectionate biopic.

Martin Landau Frankenweenie

Andy Rain/Epa/REX/Shutterstock

Martin Landau, a screen giant who brought his one-of-a-kind talents to Hollywood for more than 60 years, has died at 89. TMZ first reported the news, stating that the actor died yesterday of “unexpected complications” after briefly being hospitalized at UCLA Medical Center.

Landau won a richly deserved Academy Award for his role as Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton’s “Ed Wood,” having previously been nominated for both “Crimes and Misdemeanors” and “Tucker: The Man and His Dream”; he also had three Golden Globes, six Emmy nominations, a BAFTA nod and several lifetime achievement awards to his name. More than that, though, he had an inimitable screen presence that both delighted and, when called for, unsettled.

Landau first came to wide attention for his performance in Alfred Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest,” going on to appear in “Cleopatra,” “The Greatest Story Ever Told,” “They Call Me Mister Tibbs!” and last year’s “Remember,” among many, many others.

Born on June 20, 1928 in Brooklyn, Landau was married to Barbara Bain from 1957 until 1993 and is survived by two daughters, Susan and Juliet.

Here he is accepting his Oscar for “Ed Wood,” a speech in which he calls upon anyone watching to support the National Endowment for the Arts:

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