Red Slash Hardrule
Tribute: Martin Landau, Actor
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    Martin Landau (June 20, 1928 – July 15, 2017) was an American actor and acting coach. His career began in the 1950s, with early film appearances including a supporting role in Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest (1959). He played regular roles in the television series Mission: Impossible (for which he received several Emmy Award nominations and a Golden Globe Award) and Space: 1999.
    Landau received the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture, as well as his first nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, for his role in Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988); he received his second Oscar nomination for his appearance in Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989). His performance in the supporting role of Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood (1994) earned him an Academy Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Golden Globe Award. He continued to perform in film and television, and headed the Hollywood branch of the Actors Studio until his death in 2017.

Actor Martin Landau...

    The Storyteller relates...
    I was a compulsive watcher of "Mission Impossible" in 1960s, and in 1963 I was visiting my son in Tahoe City, California. We stopped by a grocery store to pick up some food, and I was wandering around the store looking at the different and unfamiliar brand names in the store.
     Suddenly my attention was drawn to the dairy case where Martin Landau was reaching in for a bottle of milk. I guess he sensed my watching him, and he nodded and flashed a quick smile. I didn't approach him, but I did comment to my son later about seeing him in a grocery store. My son responded that it was quite common for stars to be seen in downtown Tahoe City, and that the residents paid them very little attention, which was really what the "Stars" wanted.
     I was intrigued by the old 400 SLD Mercedes that the Mission Impossible gang always rode away in at the end of the episodes, and one day while I was having some work done on my Goliath Station Wagon, a salesman for Mercedes saw me admiring a 400 SLD on the showroom. He approached me and I told him there was no way I could afford such a car. His response was that he needed to keep his sales pitch up to par, and would I just listen as he showed me the features of the car.
     The features on a fully loaded 400 SLD are impressive:
  1. A control that sets how firm or soft a ride you want.
  2. A fire wall mounted foot operated plunger that greases the car.
  3. A full wet bar in the passenger seat area.
  4. Control to inflate or deflate tire pressure to meet road conditions.
  5. I forget how many coats of finely rubbed coats of black paint it had.
  6. Heating and air conditioning precisely controlled.
    If you are wondering about my Goliath, it was made by Borgward in Germany. I put over 100,000 miles on it. It had many innovated features. Unfortunately the idiot that established the American dealerships granted dealerships to fly by night used car dealers, and even filling stations. I was traveling as a sales engineer for a meat packers equipment company. Had a five state areas as my sales territory. Most of my competitors had chauffeur driven Mercedes. I saw my customers about once or twice a year. It took about three years to get established. I never made it. It is just as well, for the environmental activists and pollution control laws eliminated virtually all the local packing houses. Little Rock used to have at least six major packing houses, now it has virtually none.
     I had a four bedroom house with a garage and servants quarters; three automobiles, and what I thought was a lifetime job with a major packing company, and suddenly the chain groceries went to centralized buying, and myself and probably seventy other meat salesmen in the Little Rock area were out of work. (And I was 40 tears old!) I'll spare you the saga for the next 10/12 years while I worked up from a very menial job to a lofty Computer Systems Supervisor. (It's really easy, just take a entry level job, and make yourself indispensable for the next ten years, by doing the work of seven people.)
     The Old Kunnel footnotes... Martin Landau was 32 in 1963 when Remmel spotted him... The same tender age as the "old" Kunnel. (grin)

12:04 6/21/2003
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