Oscar winner Martin Landau died on July 15 at the age of 89. The veteran actor won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in the film “Ed Wood” (1994) and received two other Oscar nominations for “Tucker: The Man and His Dream” (1988) and “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (1989). One of his first notable film roles was in Alfred Hitchcock’s “North By Northwest” (1959) which he later followed with a multi-year run on the TV spy classic “Mission: Impossible.”
“Every actor looks forward to the role of a lifetime, but great actors undertake them frequently,” said Landau’s publicist in a statement Sunday evening. “For the revered Academy Award-winning actor’s actor, Martin ‘Marty’ Landau, there has been a rich continuity of great roles and great performances across six decades.”
Landau was last seen on the big screen in “The Last Poker Game,” and he has two other films currently in production: “Without Ward” (due out in 2017) and “Nate & Al” (scheduled for 2018). He’ll forever be remembered by fans of “The X-Files” as Doctor Alvin Kurtzweil, a family friend of the Mulders who helps Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) uncover a government conspiracy about the existence of aliens.
Horror director George Romero also died this weekend. They are just two of the many Hollywood legends to pass away so far this calendar year, including those listed below. Click through our In Memoriam photo gallery above that features all of the major 2017 celebrity deaths.
Television legend Mary Tyler Moore died at age 80 in Connecticut on January 25, 2017. She starred in “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” winning 7 Emmy Awards in her career. She was inducted by the TV academy in their hall of fame in 1986 and received the SAG life achievement award in 2012. In addition to being an accomplished actress, she was also one of the co-founders of the industry’s powerful production company MTM in the 1970s. Moore was an Oscar nominee for Best Actress in “Ordinary People” (1980) and won the Golden Globe for that role.
Actor Bill Paxton died at age 61 on February 26, 2017. Paxton is best known for his roles in the films “Aliens,” “Titanic,” “Twister,” “The Terminator,” “A Simple Plan,” “Apollo 13,” and “True Lies.” He also starred in the HBO drama series “Big Love,” which brought him three Golden Globe nominations for Best TV Drama Actor in 2007, 2008 and 2010. His television work in “Hatfields and McCoys” (2012) reaped a Best TV Movie/Miniseries Actor nomination at the Emmys and SAG Awards but a loss to co-star Kevin Costner. He won a Screen Actors Guild Award as part of the Best Film Ensemble of “Apollo 13” and another nomination with the cast of “Titanic.”
Don Rickles died on April 6, 2017. The comedian was famous for his insults in his nightclub act, with Johnny Carson on “The Tonight Show,” and on the Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts. He became a voiceover favorite in the “Toy Story” films as Mr. Potato Head. He won an Emmy Award for his 2007 variety special “Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project.”
Director Jonathan Demme on April 26 in New York at age 73. His greatest triumph was at the Oscars as Best Director of the 1991 film “The Silence of The Lambs,” Best Picture winner. Other films in his career included “Melvin and Howard,” “Swing Shift,” “Something Wild,” “Married to the Mob,” “Philadelphia,” and “Rachel Getting Married.”