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‘North by Northwest’ (1959)

This classic Alfred Hitchock thriller gave Landau his breakout film role as Leonard, right-hand man to the villainous spy Vandamm (James Mason), who is attempting to murder a victim of mistaken identity (Cary Grant). Though he had few lines, Landau’s menacing, oddly playful presence is unforgettable. (Photo: Everett)

Martin Landau: 10 Career Highlights, From Hitchcock to 'Ed Wood' and Beyond

Gwynne Watkins
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

Martin Landau, who died on July 16 at age 89, was a familiar face in movies and TV for almost 60 years. He made an impression on big-screen audiences opposite James Mason and Cary Grant in Alfred Hitchcock‘s North by Northwest in 1959, after steady work in TV, then largely stayed on the small screen until hitting it big as a regular on the hit spy series Mission: Impossible, from 1966 to 1969. In the mid-’70s, he played the captain on the much-hyped British sci-fi series Space: 1999, but it didn’t become the next Star Trek. He worked steadily for the next 10-plus years until striking gold with a supporting role in Francis Ford Coppola‘s Tucker in 1988, which earned him an Oscar nomination, a feat he’d duplicate in 1989 in Woody Allen‘s Crimes and Misdemeanors. He’d finally collect an Oscar win in 1994, for his performance as Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton‘s Ed Wood. For more on his standout career, click through the slideshow above, illustrating the highlights of his decades in movies/TV.