1999c Filming in Main Mission
1999c Filming in Main Mission
This is a real world article, written from a production point of view.

Martin Landau was an American actor famous for portraying master of disguise Rollin Hand in Mission Impossible, and Commander John Koenig in Space: 1999. His career reached it's peak in 1994 with the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for the film Ed Wood, and consolidated his position as a character actor.


Landau's father emigrated from his home, near Salzberg, Austria, when he was 12. Landau himself grew up in a poor, tough neighbourhood of varied European immigrants. He initially studied art at the Pratt Institute and the Art Students League in New York. At 17 he joined the New York Daily News as a staff artist, drawing caricatures for a column, and a cartoonist, assisting Gus Edson on his strip 'The Gumps'. Though the job was well paid and secure he decided after five years that he did not want to spend the rest of his life with the paper. He left to become a comedy writer and then a solo comic in a night club.

In the early 1950s television was expanding and he found many acting roles, generally as juvenile delinquents. He started to train as an actor, taking summer stock work, plays, "little theatre" groups, and drama classes for three years.

He then joined Lee Strasberg's Actors Studio: Landau and Steve McQueen were the only two out of 2000 others accepted that year. He gained prominent roles in New York plays, including Chekov's Uncle Varya and Franz Werfel's Goat Song. He began teaching drama classes, and while assisting Curt Conway in 1955 he met his future wife, Barbara Bain. She had just come from a modelling assignment and Landau initially thought her vain and vacuous, while she thought him arrogant and scruffy. However, at a party a fortnight later they met and reversed their former opinions, and thereafter became inseparable. A year and a half later, on 31st January 1957, they married in the New York City Hall, and on 10th February 1957 they married again in a religious ceremony.

Prompted by Bain to improvise Curt Conway's role in the current hit Broadway play Middle Of The Night, his interpretation impressed writer Paddy Chayefsky and he was awarded the role when it became available three months later. Landau acted on Broadway with Edward G Robinson, then went with the play on a six month tour of 16 cities in the U.S. and Canada. Bain also had a minor role, so the tour served as a honeymoon for them. The tour ended in Los Angeles, where Alfred Hitchcock saw him and gave him his film debut in North By Northwest (1959). He also appeared in the film Pork Chop Hill (59), and the Landaus made Los Angeles their home.

He appeared in several prominent film roles, some to critical praise, such as Cleopatra (62), The Hallelujah Trail (65), The Greatest Story Ever Told (65), They Call Me Mister Tibbs (1970), and as the title role in Welcome Home Johnny Bristol (1971). He also took guest roles in much television: The Twilight Zone (episodes Mr Denton on Doomsday, 1959, The Jeopardy Room, 1964), Wagon Train (60), The Untouchables (61), Bonanza (61), The Outer Limits (episodes The Man Who Was Never Born, 1963, The Bellero Shield, 1964), Alfred Hitchcock Presents (64), The Wild Wild West (65), Gunsmoke (66). He was offered the role of Illya in The Man From Uncle but he was not interested, though he appeared in the episode The Bat Cave Affair (1965).

In 1965 he was offered the role of Spock in Star Trek, but Landau rejected this for the part of a master of disguise in Mission: Impossible. This role was created for him by series creator Bruce Geller and was originally named "Martin Land", though this became "Rollin Hand". He played alongside his wife as Cinnamon Carter for three seasons, some 80 episodes, before leaving in 1968 when Paramount took over production and the standards of the scripts were in decline. He was in the 1970 Italian comedy Operation Snafu (aka Rosolino Paterno, soldato) in which he fell from a horse and hurt his back, an injury that caused him problems the rest of his life. In the early 1970s he starred in Joseph Stefano's pilot Haunted and another pilot Savage (1973), directed by Steven Spielberg and also starring Bain, and guest starred as twins in an episode of Columbo (1973). He turned down the leads for the series High Chaparral and, with Bain, McMillan and Wife, but in 1973 they both accepted the roles of Koenig and Helena in Space: 1999.

Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and Abe Mandell had a series of three interviews with them in California in early 1973. Though the project was shelved from April to August, Landau and Bain moved with their two daughters from their Beverly Hills home (a Tudor style house built in 1922, the former Harvey Mudd Estate, called by the Landaus "Sous Les Arbres") to London in October 1973. They stayed first in Little Venice, near Regent's Canal, and then in a fashionable Georgian square in Belgravia.

Director Val Guest reported ""Martin was having terrible problems with Barbara at the time."" [N 2] After the series finished in December 1976 the Landaus returned to California. They were separated in the early 1980s and divorced in 1993.

Subsequently Landau appeared in a number of B-movies, including Strange Shadows In An Empty Room (1977), Meteor (1979), Fall Of The House Of Usher (1979), The Being (1980), The Return (1980), Without Warning (1980), Alone In The Dark (1982), Access Code (1984), Cyclone (1986) and the British film Empire State (1987). He also appeared in the TV movies The Harlem Globetrotters On Gilligan's Island (1981 with Bain), Trial By Terror (1985), The Kung Fu Movie (1986) and The Return Of The Six Million Dollar Man And The Bionic Woman (1987). He guested in the series The Twilight Zone (episode The Beacon, 1985), Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1987), and Beauty And The Beast (1988). He was well received starring in a touring play Dracula (1984-85).

In 1989 Landau's role in the film Tucker (1988) earned him a Golden Globe award for best supporting actor, and an Oscar nomination in the same category. Subsequently he appeared in Woody Allen's Crimes & Misdemeanours (1989), earning another Oscar nomination. Later films included Paint It Black (1989), The Color Of Evening (1990). He also appeared in the tv movies The Neon Empire (1989), Max and Helen (1990), The Grand Tour (1990), By Dawn's Early Light (1990). He finally earned an Oscar for best supporting actor for Ed Wood (1994) and was famously cut off in his acceptance speech. His new prestige earned him parts in many major movies and TV miniseries. Highlights include: Pinocchio (1996) (and reprised in the New Adventures of Pinocchio (1999)), City Hall (1996), the X-Files movie (1998), Ed-TV (1999), Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow (1999), Very Mean Men (2000), Ready To Rumble (2000), Shiner (2000), Very Mean Men (2000), Joyriders (2000), Haven (miniseries, 2000), In The Beginning (miniseries, 2000), The Majestic (2001). Hollywood Homicide (2003). The Commission (2003). He guest starred in the TV series Without a Trace in 2004, earning his third Emmy award nomination, and reprised the role in two further episodes in 2005. In 2006 he was in the short lived series The Evidence, his first regular TV role since Space: 1999. He earned his fourth Emmy award nomination for his recurring role in the series Entourage (2006, 2008, playing a character inspired by producer Robert Evans, who sued the show for defamation). He was a voice in the animated film 9 (2009), the TV series The Simpsons (2010), and Tim Burton's film Frankenweenie (2012)[1]

Space 1999Edit

Landau was brought up on Jules Verne and H.G.Wells books and reads Asimov and Bradbury science fiction. Around the time of filming, Landau was 1.9 m (6'3") tall and weighed 84 kg (185 lbs). His hair was dark brown, his eyes blue.

He says of Space: 1999 ""It was a much better show than people realise. We hit some, we missed some, we tried things."" He admits he preferred the first series. ""I felt that it would grow. Episodes like the Christopher Lee show (Earthbound), The Black Sun and War Games were ones with ideas and integrity. Freddie Freiberger helped in some respects, but overall I don't think he helped the show. I think he brought a much more ordinary, mundane approach to the series. Space 1999 had a style of its own, a feel of its own, a look of its own, that would have grown if it had been left alone. It needed time and wasn't given that time. They rushed the process. If the format hadn't been changed, I know it would have been a hit."" He has said he would have done a third series if it returned to the first season format, but not if Freiberger was involved.

Landau was popular with cast and crew. Johnny Byrne commented ""Martin and Barbara were highly intelligent, invariably courteous to all and generous to a fault. They were a joy to work with."" Director Val Guest was one of the few who had difficulties with Landau. ""Martin had got an idea into his head as to how he should play his part, and anything I tried to do to goose him up was a bit of a strain for him.""

Landau was a guest at the 1978, 1986, 1992 and 2012 Spave: 1999 conventions in the U.S. He appeared in The Space: 1999 Documentary (1996). He was a guest at the DragonCon 2011 convention in the U.S. and Autographica 2012 in the UK. Martin Landau and Mark Spalding, October 3, 2009[1]


Kevin Connor on Martin Landau: "He was and is a great guy, but it was a problem shooting Martin because he never liked to be shot on his left side. If you shot him on the right side, he looked good. But if you shoot him on the left side, he looks ten years older. So I had to plan my shots very carefully. Of course, he did not care if the bad Koenig (Seed of Destruction) was shot on the left!"

Sylvia Anderson on Martin Landau: "Martin and Barbara were tenacious when it came to their lines and how many they got and who would give the orders. So it was a little hard on Barry Morse and Nick Tate. But unfortunately Lew Grade had given Martin and Barbara a certain amount of creative input, which made it very difficult for us, the producers, at times. But I quickly found out that if you stood up to Martin, and you had a good case, it was quickly sorted out."

Christopher Penfold on Martin Landau: "We spent long, long hours into the night at their house in Little Venice, going through the scripts. Both of them took a fantastically close interest in the development of the stories, and they brought their own humanity, their own intelligence to the stories in a way that I, as a story editor, found tremendously rewarding, they were so fully engaged with the series."

Johnny Byrne on Martin Landau: "And it wasn't an egotistical thing, it wasn't a questing around looking for more heroic stuff to perform, it was a genuine and honest integrity about making the scripts better. They were wonderful to work with in that respect, and we were very fortunate. The wrong kind of person in that position, with that kind of power as the leading actor and actress, could have made our lives hell. As it was they helped make good scripts better."

Ray Austin on Landau: "At the beginning, none of the cast and crew knew Martin, but I did, I doubled for him on North By Northwest. I did the fall off Lincoln's nose for Martin and he's a great guy. Martin, if he'd had his way, would've had his dressing room at the other end of the block to Barbara's. It wasn't that great on the set with those two. It was a bit of a pain."[1]



Year Title Role Notes
1959 Pork Chop Hill Lieutenant Marshall
1959 North by Northwest Leonard
1959 The Gazebo The Duke
1962 Stagecoach to Dancers' Rock Dade Coleman
1963 Cleopatra (1963) Rufio
1963 Decision at Midnight Nils
1965 The Greatest Story Ever Told Caiaphas
1965 The Hallelujah Trail Chief Walks-Stooped-Over
1966 Nevada Smith Jesse Coe
1970 Rosolino Paternò, soldato...- Operation Snafu Joe Mellone
1970 They Call Me Mister Tibbs! Logan Sharpe
1971 A Town Called Bastard The Colonel
1972 Black Gunn Capelli
1976 Strange Shadows in an Empty Room Dr. George Tracer
1979 The Last Word (1979 film) Captain Garrity
1979 Meteor (film) Major General Adlon
1980 Without Warning (1980 film) Fred "Sarge" Dobbs
1982 The Return (1980 film) Niles Buchanan
1982 Alone in the Dark (1982 film) Byron "Preacher" Sutcliff
1983 Garson Jones
1983 Trial by Terror
1984 Access Code Agency Head
1985 Treasure Island (1985 film) Old Captain
1987 Sweet Revenge (1987 film) Cicero
1987 Empire State (1987 film) Chuck
1987 Cyclone (1987 film) Bosarian
1987 Delta Fever Bud
1987 W.A.R.: Women Against Rape Judge Shaw
1988 Real Bullets Sallini
1988 Tucker: The Man and His Dream Abe Karatz Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor (shared with Tom Cruise and Dean Stockwell)
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated – Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated – New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
1988 Run If You Can Malvani
1989 Paint It Black (film) Daniel Lambert
1989 Crimes and Misdemeanors Judah Rosenthal Nominated – Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated – Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
1989 The Neon Empire Max Loeb
1991 Firehead Admiral Pendleton
1992 Mistress (1992 film) Jack Roth
1993 No Place to Hide (1993 film) Frank McCoy
1993 Sliver (film) Alex Parsons
1993 Eye of the Stranger Mayor Howard Bains
1994 Time Is Money Mac
1994 Intersection (1994 film) Neal
1994 Ed Wood (film) Bela Lugosi Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor[2]
American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture[3]
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor[4]
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor[5]
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture[6]
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor[7]
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor[8]
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor[9]
Saturn Award for Best Actor[10]
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Society of Texas Film Critics Awards 1994 - Award for Best Supporting Actor
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role[11]
1996 City Hall (film) Judge Walter Stern
1996 The Adventures of Pinocchio (1996 film) Mister Geppetto
1996 The Elevator (1996 film) Roy Tilden
1997 B*A*P*S Mr. Donald Blakemore
1997 Legend of the Spirit Dog Storyteller Voice
1998 The X-Files (film) Alvin Kurtzweil, MD
1998 Rounders (film) Abe Petrovsky
1999 EDtv Al
1999 The Joyriders (film) Gordon Trout
1999 The New Adventures of Pinocchio (film) Geppetto
1999 Sleepy Hollow (film) Peter Van Garrett Uncredited
1999 Carlo's Wake Carlo Torello
2000 Ready to Rumble Sal Bandini
2000 Very Mean Men Mr. White
2000 Shiner (2000 film) Frank Spedding
2001 The Majestic (film) Harry Trimble
2003 Hollywood Homicide Jerry Duran
2003 The Commission Senator Richard Russell Jr.
2003 Wake (film) Older Sebastian Riven
2004 The Aryan Couple (2004 film) Joseph Krauzenberg
2005 Film Trix Himself
2006 Love Made Easy Don Farinelli, Sr.
2006 An Existential Affair The Wedding Doctor
2008 David & Fatima Rabbi Schmulic
2008 Lovely, Still Robert Malone
2008 Harrison Montgomery Harrison Montgomery
2008 City of Ember Sul
2008 Billy: The Early Years Older Charles Templeton
2009 9 (2009 animated film) 2 Voice
2009 Remembering Nigel Himself
2010 Ivory Leon Spencer
2010 Finding Grandma Doc Fine Short
2011 Mysteria (film) Hotel Manager
2012 Frankenweenie (2012 film) Mr. Rzykruski Voice
2015 Entourage (film) Bob Ryan
2015 Remembering Nigel
2015 Remember (2015 film) Max Rosenbaum
2016 The Red Maple Leaf Bernard Florence
2017 The Last Poker Game Dr. Abe Mandelbaum Landau attended the Tribeca Film Festival, his last film released before he died[12]
2017 Without Ward Ward (final film role)


Year Title Role Notes
1957Harbormaster (TV series)First MateEpisode: "Sanctuary"
1958Lawman (TV series)Robert Ford (outlaw)Episode: "The Outcast"
1958SugarfootJim KellyEpisode: "The Ghost"
1958GunsmokeThorpEpisode: "The Patsy"
1959The Lawless Years SilvaEpisode: "Lucky Silva"
1959The Twilight Zone (1959 TV series) Dan HotalingEpisode: "Mr. Denton on Doomsday"
1959Johnny StaccatoJerry LindstromEpisode: "Murder for Credit"
1959Tales of Wells FargoDoc HollidayEpisode: "Doc Holliday"
1960Tate (TV series)John ChessEpisode: "Tigrero"
1960Johnny Ringo (TV series)Wes TymonEpisode: "The Derelict"
1960The Islanders (TV series)ArnieEpisode: "Duel of Strangers"
1960Adventures in Paradise (TV series)SackettEpisode: "Nightmare on Nakupa"
1960Wagon TrainPreacherEpisode: "The Cathy Eckhart Story"
1961Adventures in ParadiseMillerEpisode: "Mr. Flotsam"
1961BonanzaEmilianoEpisode: "The Gift"
1961The RiflemanMiguelEpisode: "The Vaqueros"
1961The Tall Man (TV series)FranciscoEpisode: "Dark Moment"
1961The Law and Mr. Jones Episode: "Lincoln"
1961The Detectives Starring Robert TaylorVince TreynorEpisode: "Shadow of His Brother"
1962The Tall ManFather GueschimEpisode: "The Black Robe"
1963The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters (TV series)CochioEpisode: "The Day of the Killer"
1963Mr. Novak Victor RandEpisode: "Pay the Two Dollars"
1963The Outer Limits (1963 TV series)AndroEpisode: "The Man Who Was Never Born"
1964The Defenders (1961 TV series)Dr. Daniel OrrenEpisode: "The Secret"
1964The Greatest Show on Earth (TV series)Mario de MonaEpisode: "The Night the Monkey Died"
1964Alfred Hitchcock Presents aka The Alfred Hitchcock HourLawyerEpisode: "Second Verdict"
1964The Outer LimitsRichard BelleroEpisode: "The Bellero Shield"
1964The Twilight Zone (1959 TV series)Major Ivan Kuchenko
1964The Ghost of Sierra de Cobre Nelson Orion Television film
1965Mr. NovakRobert CoolidgeEpisode: "Enter a Strange Animal"
1965A Man Called ShenandoahJace MillerEpisode: "The Locket"
1965The Big ValleyMariano MontoyaEpisode: "The Way to Kill a Killer"
1966BrandedEdwin BoothEpisode: "This Stage of Fools"
1966–1969Mission: ImpossibleRollin Hand76 episodes
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (1967–1969)
1969Get SmartMax's new faceEpisode: "Pheasant Under Glass"
1972 Welcome Home, Johnny Bristol Johnny Bristol Television film
Columbo (TV series)Dexter Paris / Norman ParisEpisode: "Double Shock"
1975–1977Space: 1999Commander John Koenig47 episodes
1979The Fall of the House of UsherRoderick UsherTelevision film
1979The Death of Ocean View ParkTom FloodTelevision film
1981The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's IslandJ.J. PiersonTelevision film
1983Matt HoustonMarquis Duval Sr.Episode: "The Hunted"
1983Hotel (U.S. TV series)Russell SlocumEpisode: "Confrontations"
1984Buffalo Bill (TV series)Hayden StoneEpisode: "Company Ink"
1984Murder, She WroteAl DrakeEpisode: "Birds of a Feather"
1985The Twilight Zone (1985 TV series)William Cooper-JanesEpisode: "The Beacon (The Twilight Zone)"
1986Kung Fu: The MovieJohn Martin Perkins IIITelevision film
1986Blacke's MagicBroderickEpisode: "Last Flight from Moscow"
1987Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1985 TV series)Wallace GarrisonEpisode: "The Final Twist"
1987The Return of the Six-Million-Dollar Man and the Bionic WomanLyle StenningTelevision film
1990Max and HelenSimon WiesenthalTelevision film
Nominated – CableACE Award for Supporting Actor in a Movie or Miniseries
1990By Dawn's Early LightPresident of the United StatesTelevision film
Nominated – CableACE Award for Actor in a Movie or Miniseries
1992Legacy of LiesAbraham ResnickTelevision film
CableACE Award for Supporting Actor in a Movie or Miniseries
199312:01Dr. Thadius MoxleyTelevision film
1995–1996Spider-Man (1994 TV series)The Scorpion/Mac GarganVoice
4 episodes
1995 Joseph (film) JacobTelevision film
1999Bonanno: A Godfather's StoryJoseph Bonanno (age 94)Television film
2000In the Beginning (miniseries)Abraham2 episodes
2001HavenPapa GruberTelevision film
2004–2009Without a TraceFrank Malone5 episodes
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (2004–2005)
2006The Evidence (TV series)Dr. Sol Gold8 episodes
2006–2008Entourage (U.S. TV series)Bob Ryan4 episodes
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series (2007)
2009In Plain SightJoseph Thomas/Joseph Tancredi
2011The SimpsonsThe Great RaymondoVoice
Episode: "The Great Simpsina"
2011Have a Little Faith (film) Rabbi Albert Lewis Television film
2013The Anna Nicole Story J. Howard Marshall IITelevision film
2014Outlaw Prophet: Warren JeffsRulon JeffsTelevision film


  • Print: TV SCI FI MONTHLY Number 6 (1976); "Koenig Speaks!" (interview) p1
  • Print: WOMAN AND HOME (1976); "A successful working marriage" interview with Barbara Bain and Martin Landau by Jerry Bauer p64-65, 82
  • Print: CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT Number 3 (Mar 1977); "Interview with Martin Landau" p39-40,56
  • Print: SFTV Number 4 (Mar 1985); "Interview: Martin Landau" p8-11
  • Print: Starlog Number 108 (July 1986); "Martin Landau Space Age Hero" interview by David Hirsch p44-47
  • Print: Starlog Number 139 (Feb 1989); Martin Landau interview p29-31
  • Print: FAB 16 (1994) interview p18-22
  • Print: Dreamwatch Number 57 (April 1999); Martin Landau interview p32-36
  • Print: Dreamwatch Number 94 (July 2002); Martin Landau interview by Simon John Gerard p24-26
  • Print: FAB 46 (2003) interview by Tim Mallett and Glenn Pearce p10-19[1]



  1. Some publicity gives his year of birth as 1931 (sometimes 1932); the actual year is 1928.
  2. This is not reported by other cast or crew and may have been an isolated row during the filming of Guest's episode.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3
  2. THE 67TH ACADEMY AWARDS (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)
  3. Martin Landau Dies: Oscar-Winning ‘Ed Wood’, TV’s ‘Mission: Impossible’ Actor Was 89 (Dino-Ray Ramos July 16, 2017 -
  4. Past Award Winners - Boston Society of Film Critics
  5. Martin Landau, Actor Who Won an Oscar for ‘Ed Wood,’ Dies at 89 (Anita Gates - The New York Times, July 16, 2017)
  6. Ed Wood - Hollywood Foreign Press Association
  8. Past Awards - National Society of Film Critics
  9. Critics Honor 'Pulp Fiction' And 'Quiz Show' (Janet Maslin – The New York Times, December 16, 1994)
  10. FILM AWARDS Best Actor in a Films - Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films
  11. British Academy of Film and Television Arts - Film in 1996 (Archive)
  12. Veteran actor Martin Landau dead at 89 USA Today July 16, 2017 - Lorena Blas