Martin Landau, star of Ed Wood and Crimes and Misdemeanors, dies at 89

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Veteran actor won a best supporting actor Oscar playing horror icon Bela Lugosi after a late-life career revival

Martin Landau, the actor whose gaunt, hangdog features graced films by film-makers as varied as Alfred Hitchcock, Woody Allen and Tim Burton has died. He was 89, and his death was confirmed by his publicist “following a short hospitalisation”.

Arguably Landau’s career high point arrived in 1995, when he won the best supporting actor Oscar for his role as Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood, the Burton-directed biopic of the infamous director of Plan 9 From Outer Space and other notorious films. In Lugosi, the washed-up former star of 1930s horror films such as Count Dracula, Landau found a forerunner he could relate to. “Lugosi … had a palpable intensity and a presence that you can’t buy,” Landau said, just prior to his Oscar win. “But this fuckin’ town shat on him … And I can relate to that. I’ve seen it happen a lot. I’ve seen it happen to me.”

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