Really don’t like it when these are so close together. Really makes one feel their mortality. As I write this up, I’m listening to the soundtrack from Creepshow, still trying to get over the loss of George Romero. But Martin Landau might not have made the impact in the horror genre like Romero, he definitely made his mark in a few titles. As an actor though, he was simply just amazing to watch. Landau passed away yesterday at the age of 89, due to “unexpected complications”, and the acting world loses one of the best.
I first recall Landau from both Mission Impossible and Space 1999, but never knew him as the actor, Martin Landau. He was just “that guy from that TV show”. But in 1984, a film started at the theater I was working at that was a collection of clips from different horror movies. The film was Terror in the Aisles, and it featured a few scenes from a movie called Alone in the Dark (1982), that starred Landau, as the demented character “Preacher”. In those brief clips, he gave us one of the most frightening performances that gave me chills. So much so that it immediately made me want to find that movie to see the whole thing. Around that time, he had also appeared in terror titles like Without Warning (1980) and The Being (1983). But it was his performance as the aging Bela Lugosi that won him an Oscar in Tim Burton’s Ed Wood (1994).
Just looking through his filmography, you can see all the different and wonderful characters that he created over the years. A real consummate actor, always making the audience believe in his character. So no matter what role he was playing, you know it was going to be worth the watch.
Our thoughts go out to the friends and family during this difficult time. He will be missed, but never forgotten.