"Every one of my friends thought I was insane, but Hitchcock liked it".
Landau - victor of the OScar for his supporting role as Bela Lugosi in the 1994 cult film "Ed Wood" - rose to fame playing a killer in Alfred Hitchcock's classic 1959 tale of intrigue, "North by Northwest".
"It's impossible to overestimate the job that Landau does here as this sepulchral Hungarian", Washington Post critic Hal Hinson wrote in his review of the 1994 film. I will miss you.
He and Bain divorced, and Landau spent the 1980s in roles in mostly obscure films.
It was a daring artistic choice for that era, and the actor's friends anxious that he'd be typecast in effeminate roles after that. A documentary entitled An Actor's Actor: The Life of Martin Landau is now in the works.
The veteran of the Actors Studio, for which he was West Coast co-artistic director, had many ups and downs in his career.
The former newspaper cartoonist was an admired acting teacher who taught greats, including Jack Nicholson, The Hollywood Reporter reported.
On Broadway, Landau won praise for his work in "Middle of the Night", which starred Edward G. Robinson.
His performance as Rollin Hand on Mission Impossible earned him a Golden Globe Award and nominations for three Emmy Awards.
The series, which also starred Landau's wife, Barbara Bain, became an instant hit when it debuted in 1966.
He is survived by two daughters, writer-producer-casting director Susan Landau Finch and thesp Juliet Landau of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" fame, a sister and a granddaughter.
Though he worked consistently, his movie career didn't kick into high gear again until he was 60. He won the Oscar for the "Ed Wood" role. He received another best supporting actor Oscar nomination for Woody Allen's 1989 morality fable "Crimes and Misdemeanors" in which he played murderous ophthalmologist Judah Rosenthal. Photo shows Landau at work in the Daily News Art Dept in 1951. He also appeared in Sleepy Hollow, Frankenweenie, and the Burton-produced 9.
". I played more things, had more fun and", he told journalist Tim Teeman.
He also co-starred with Bain in the 1970s sci-fi series "Space: 1999" and appeared in Rod Serling's acclaimed series "The Twilight Zone".