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Martin Landau, RIP

LOS ANGELES–Versatile Oscar-winning actor Martin Laundau died July 15 at the UCLA Medical Center after a brief hospital stay. He was 89.

Longtime MSTies will remember him as Comm. John Koenig in the movie in episode K10- COSMIC PRINCESS. But many more MSTies may remember him in his Oscar-winning role as Bela Lugosi in 1994’s “Ed Wood.”

Just as a side note: At a public appearance in that period, Trace was asked how the cast felt about the movie and he replied: “We felt like it had been written specifically for us.”

The Hollywood Reporter has the story.

Thanks to Tim (who was first) and Paul for the heads up.

And, yes, we are aware George Romero has passed away. NOT a MSTory person per se, but definitely had a strong influence on riffed movies.

13 Replies to “Martin Landau, RIP”

  1. RobTFirefly says:

    It’s very worth checking out the episode of “Movie Sign With the Mads,” the podcast Trace and Frank are part of, dealing with the film “Ed Wood.” It’s a wonderful discussion of the film, its impact on MST3K and its world, and what it meant to the guys.

       10 likes

  2. IR5 says:

    Part of my entertainment life since I was a kid. Mission:Impossible on Sunday Nights. Then, the game changing Ed Wood role. RIP Martin.

       8 likes

  3. The Star of Ed Wood also got a well-deserved Oscar nomination (as undeserved “Supporting Actor”) for Woody Allen’s “Crimes & Misdemeanors”, but Mission: Impossible also shows off his chops.
    Six degrees of MST3K aside, the guy was pretty darn GOOD.

       13 likes

  4. Landau was also great as James Mason’s main henchman Leonard in Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest. He had an air of menace mixed with a hint of creepiness in that movie that worked very well indeed.

    RIP

       13 likes

  5. Yeti of Great Danger says:

    Besides his perfect work in Ed Wood, I will always remember him in a 1972 made-for-TV movie called Welcome Home, Johnny Bristol, even though I haven’t seen it for 45 years. The title character’s search for the town of Charles, Vermont was haunting.

       4 likes

  6. Danzilla "Cornjob" McLargeHuge, Student of Kaijuology says:

    I’m heartbroken. I’m a huge fan of Mr. Landau; he was just such a neat guy, and an actor or incredible range and talent. Whenever you see him, you are immediately invested. There was something fascinating about his face and voice, and you couldn’t not watch or listen to him on screen.

    Landau will forever be revered for his roles in Mission: Impossible and Ed Wood, but for me, the performance that I will always love him the most for was as the lead in The Outer Limits episode “The Man Who Was Never Born”. Landau plays a mutated man in the year 2048, the lone survivor of a mutagenic pathogen that eliminated mankind. When he journeys to the past to find and eliminate the man whose recklessness led to the destruction of man, he discovers that he has returned to early, and instead encounters the man’s father and beautiful fiancé, with whom he falls in love. The question of whether two people can really change the future is answered in a beautiful and haunting way that deserves to be seen.

    RIP Mr. Landau. Thank you for giving so much of yourself to us for so many years. You will be missed.

       10 likes

  7. Ro-man, aka one of several possible Steves says:

    He’ll always be Commander Koenig to me. :(

       8 likes

  8. goalieboy82 says:

    i know when visited London UK in 2009, they were still showing Space:1999 on ITV.

       3 likes

  9. Cornjob says:

    Wow. When I was a kid seeing Space 1999 was such a treat. The tentacle monster episode was the first thing with tentacles I ever saw and it creeped me out some. And then such a moving portrayal of Bela Lugosi. The King of the Vampires and the King of the Zombies (Romero) passed away on the same day. But will they be back?

    I have a question. There was a compilation/documentary about horror movies made in the early 80’s that was hosted by Donald Pleasance who was seated in a movie theater talking in between clips of various movies. I think it was called something like Terror in the Aisles. One or two clips involve Martin Landau portraying a maniacal killer who does things like gleefully run over a mailman on a bicycle because he likes and wants his hat. I haven’t been able to find out what movie those clips were from. I couldn’t figure it out from the credits of the documentary or Landau’s IMDB page. Any help identifying this film would be appreciated.

       3 likes

  10. Murdock Hauser says:

    Cornjob:
    Wow. When I was a kid seeing Space 1999 was such a treat. The tentacle monster episode was the first thing with tentacles I ever saw and it creeped me out some. And then such a moving portrayal of Bela Lugosi. The King of the Vampires and the King of the Zombies (Romero) passed away on the same day. But will they be back?

    I have a question. There was a compilation/documentary about horror movies made in the early 80’s that was hosted by Donald Pleasance who was seated in a movie theater talking in between clips of various movies. I think it was called something like Terror in the Aisles. One or two clips involve Martin Landau portraying a maniacal killer who does things like gleefully run over a mailman on a bicycle because he likes and wants his hat. I haven’t been able to find out what movie those clips were from. I couldn’t figure it out from the credits of the documentary or Landau’s IMDB page. Any help identifying this film would be appreciated.

    Alone in the Dark (1982), starring none other than a couple of heavy hitters in MST3K Donald Pleasance and Jack Palance. It also stars Dwight Schultz aka “Murdock” from The “A-Team.” The scene starts around 39:10 https://youtu.be/m7vDlnPF6Mc?t=2353

       4 likes

  11. Cornjob says:

    Thanks Murdock. I’ve wanted to know this for a while. To the top of the Netflix cue. I’m looking forward to this.

       1 likes

  12. Murdock Hauser says:

    Cornjob:
    Thanks Murdock. I’ve wanted to know this for a while. To the top of the Netflix cue. I’m looking forward to this.

    It’s all good. I always like helping a fellow MSTie.

       2 likes

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