Martin Landau played a master of disguise on the Mission: Impossible TV series, Commander John Koenig and as a broken-down Bela Lugosi in his Oscar-winning performance in Ed Wood, has died. He was 89.
He attended the Actors Studio, becoming good friends with James Dean, and was later in the same class as Steve McQueen. In 1957, he made his Broadway debut in Middle of the Night. Landau made his first major film appearance in 1959, as Leonard, right-hand man of a criminal mastermind, in Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest. He had featured roles in two 1960s epics, Cleopatra and The Greatest Story Ever Told, and played a ruthless killer in the 1965 western Nevada Smith, which starred Steve McQueen.
Landau played the role of master of disguise Rollin Hand in the US television series Mission: Impossible, becoming one of its better-known stars. The role of Hand required Landau to perform a wide range of accents and characters, from dictators to thugs, and several episodes had him playing dual roles—not only Hand’s impersonation, but also the person whom Hand is impersonating