Martin Landau, the Academy Award winning actor who played Scorpion on the first two seasons of Spider-Man, has passed away at the age of eighty-nine. He died Saturday afternoon at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center after a short hospitalization where he suffered unexpected complications.
Born on June 20, 1928 in Brooklyn, New York, Landau has had a long and illustrious career in film and television. He originally worked as a cartoonist for the New York Daily News before quitting to pursue a career in acting. He went to the and Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio studied alongside Steve McQueen. He rose to fame in North by Northwest playing a henchman before becoming a major cast member of the television series Mission: Impossible for the first three seasons. After quitting over a contract dispute he went to work on Space: 1999. When that series was cancelled he worked on a number of small television and film projects including The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island. He then made a comeback with Tucker: The Man and His Dream and Crimes and Misdemeanors for which he received two Oscar nominations. He turned down the role of Mr. Spock on Star Trek. Coincidentally, Spock actor Leonard Nimoy replaced Landau on Mission: Impossible after he left.
In 1994, he played Dracula actor Bela Lugosi in the biographical film Ed Wood for which he finally won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. During this time, he recorded for Spider-Man as Scorpion but became unavailable for the third season and beyond. He followed up the role with the films Sleepy Hollow, The Majestic and Walt Disney Animation Studios's Frankenweenie as well as the series Without a Trace (where he earned several Emmy nominations), Entourage, and The Simpsons. He worked as an acting coach, inspired by his own mentor Lee Strasberg, where he coached fellow Oscar winners Jack Nicholson and Anjelica Huston. He also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
On January 31st, 1957 he married actress and co-star Barbara Bain. They had two daughters they named Susan and Juliet. However, they divorced in 1993.