Martin Landau, Oscar Winner for ‘Ed Wood’ Dies, at 89

martin landeau.jpgMartin Landau (1928–2017)

Born: June 20, 1928 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA
Died: July 16, 2017 (age 89) in Los Angeles, California, USA


[talking about making Without Warning (1980)] Greydon Clark [the film’s director] is a godsend. He believed in me–not just in ME, I mean, but in a lot of us aging near-burnouts who’d had our day in the fickle major leagues–and he offered roles that were neither demeaning, like I’d seen happen to Lon Chaney Jr. with some of those low-budget guys, nor otherwise false. Just working-actor stuff, meaty bits of business that allowed us to slice the ham as thick as we wanted. In fact, Francis Ford Coppola told me that he had sought me out for Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988) in light of that over-the-top stuff I had done for Greydon Clark. It served notice that I still had the chops.

[on working with Woody Allen in Crimes and Misdemeanours (1989)]: We never discussed the character. I never heard anyone complain about it because I think it allows a good actor a kind of freedom: ‘Here’s a canvas. Paint!’

[in a 1988 interview on “Tucker”] I’m a Jewish kid from Brooklyn, but in all the years I’ve acted, I never had a Jewish role.

[in a 1988 interview on “Tucker”] Frances gives you a vote of confidence to let you GO! I quote Martin Ritt, a friend: ‘Directing is casting the right person for the right part.’ I don’t think that many people would have thought of me for this part. I told Frances I could probably act Abe better than anybody.


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