Tuesday, July 18, 2017




“Flamboyant television chef Dexter Paris and his twin brother, Norman, a conservative banker, are supposedly not talking to one another. But both disapprove of their wealthy uncle Clifford's impending marriage to a young woman. One of them enters Clifford's bathroom and drops an electric mixer with a frayed power cable into Clifford's bath water. Clifford is electrocuted, and the murderer takes Clifford's body to an exercise room to make it appear that Clifford died of a coronary. But Lieutenant Columbo, the infallible, cunning detective in a rumpled raincoat, suspects foul play and believes that the Paris twins, both heirs to their uncle's estate provided he didn't marry, had a motive for murder. But which one did the deed? Columbo pursues both with incessant questions as he tries to determine which of the two brothers killed their uncle Clifford.” 

Written by Kevin McCorry 
(for the IMDb)

There has always been a story that Martin Landau had been under consideration for the role of Mr. Spock in ‘Star Trek’.  Mr. Landau would often be the source of that story.  And there have been stories reputing that claim, basing that mostly on the book “The Real Story” by Bob Justman and Herb Solow.  As with many Hollywood legends, we’ll probably never know the truth; there’s no profit in it.

And in such cases, it’s always more interesting to run with the legend.

Instead of ‘Star Trek’, Landau went on to appear in another Paramount TV series, filmed practically next door to the sci-fi series: ‘Mission: Impossible’

From “Therin of Andor” in a 2004 entry in a Trek forum:

I've heard many TOS actors talking at conventions about how Martin Landau and Barbara Bain used to spend a lot of time "next door" at the "Star Trek" soundstages, playing with the prop phasers, when they were working on "Mission: Impossible" at Desilu, and how Landau realised he'd missed out on a fun gig. Barbara Bain is even in the ST bloopers. The couple was pressing everywhere to get their own SF series and finally got it with "Space: 1999".

So maybe Landau was in the running for the Spock role; maybe not.  In the second part of that legend, he was being promoted to replace Nimoy as Spock during the second season when contract renegotiations were getting difficult.  But by that point Landau was ankled to ‘Mission: Impossible’ as Rollin Hand.  (More on him in a future post.)

So Landau never replaced Nimoy in ‘Star Trek’, but Nimoy did replace him in ‘Mission: Impossible’ after Landau and his wife Barbara Bain (Cinnamon Carter) left the spy series in search of their own series.  (And more on that show in a later post as well.)

Nimoy joined the IMF team as Paris, a magician in training and like Rollin, a master of disguise.  I’ve speculated on a theory of relateeveety for Paris in the past, claiming that he was the identical cousin of Dr. William Bell.  “Bellie” was the former partner of Dr. Walter Bishop in the exploration of the “Fringe” sciences.

And while not identical, I do believe that Dexter and Norman Paris were the cousins to that practitioner of legerdemain and espionage.  As to being related to Bell?  I think it better to say Bell was related to the spy on Paris’ maternal side of the family tree.

I don't know how long either of them served time in prison.  After all, between them they committed two murders and all for monetary gain.  According to "The Ultimate Columbo Site", they would both have been sentenced to twenty years.  So they would have been out by the mid-1990s had they served their full terms.  

But did Norman get out early for good behavior?  Maybe Dexter died in prison; the scourge of AIDS took a heavy toll in the penal system and willing or not, he could have engaged in activities which put him at risk.

Perhaps one of them was "shanked" by an inmate with a grudge....

But I am sure of this: their cousin the Great Paris wouldn't lift a finger or wave his magic wand to help them get out of prison, even though he was more than capable in the execution of escape tricks.  And he would never try to play upon his government contacts to seek leniency for them.

I’ll have another entry for the Landau Gentry tomorrow.

I will always ask this as we conclude each “Landau Gentry” post:

Would that be something that you would be interested in?

Two for Tuesday!

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