Monday, July 17, 2017

George A. Romero (1940-2017) and Martin Landau (1928-2017)

Hollywood is mourning 2 legends this morning.

Zombie meister George A. Romero passed away early Sunday at 77. Best known, of course, for the rise of zombies as movie monsters nearly 50 years ago, Romero would transition to television in the 80's with Tales From The Darkside & Monsters. As fellow blogger Sam Wilson notes in Mondo 70, Romero was not at all happy with how the undead have been portrayed in recent times, particularly in Robert Kirkman's smash hit comic book & TV series, The Walking Dead. Seems Romero felt insulted that he was invited to direct an episode or two of The Walking Dead, which, in his mind, went against his overall vision of zombies.

A day earlier, Oscar winner Martin Landau passed away at 89. Landau earned his award for Tim Burton's bio of "Ed Wood", opposite Johnny Depp. However, Landau is still remembered more for two iconic TV series. Landau was an original cast member of Mission: Impossible, alongside wife Barbara Bain, but left the series after three seasons. The Landaus would return in the 1975-7 sci-fi series, Space: 1999, their last regular series work.

Landau won his Oscar on his third try, after being nominated in supporting roles in "Tucker: The Man & His Dream" and "Crimes & Misdemeanors" before scoring in 1994 for "Ed Wood". What you might not know is that Landau, at 17, began his career as an assistant to writer-artist Gus Edson on his comic strip, The Gumps.

Here's a clip from Mission: Impossible with guest star Steve Ihnat:

Landau was nominated for Emmy awards all three seasons he appeared on Mission, but didn't win.

Rest in peace, gentlemen.

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