In the greater Toobworld Universe, Martin Landau's contributions are multi-dimensional; not all of them can be found in Earth Prime-Time. And that includes almost a dozen historical figures he played on the small screen over the years. Many of them can remain in the main Toobworld, but there are others who have been recast several times in the past and so somebody has to be relegated to other Toobworlds. And with those characters who may have only appeared once on TV, but in TV movies, sometimes it's just easier to leave them in the MOTW Toobworld. (But they could be in both dimensions.)
So by my count, Martin Landau played ten historical figures on television. But as this is a Super Six List, we'll discard four of them to focus on the others. A few of them I'll visit in future blog posts as Mr. Landau was one of those performers who made all of his roles fascinating to watch and study. But there is one role I discarded simply because I couldn't find a picture to accompany it. (As Jokanaan - John the Baptist - in "Salome" on 'Omnibus') In this list I included only one of his TV Western characters, but that's because I'm going to save those profiles for the annual Western showcase in August.
So let's get started on our Super Six List.
SUPER SIX LIST
AS SEEN ON TV
PLAYED BY MARTIN LANDAU
The life of Anna Nicole Smith, from small town dancer to Playboy centerfold, to her marriage to a billionaire, and her eventual self destruction.
James Howard Marshall II (January 24, 1905 – August 4, 1995) was an American businessman, academic, attorney, and government official. His life spanned nine decades and almost the entire history of the oil industry, from the early years when uncontrolled production depleted valuable fields and natural gas was burned at the well head, to the decades of energy shortages and the Arab Oil Embargo. Marshall was married to model and celebrity Anna Nicole Smith during the last 14 months of his life. His estate became the subject of protracted litigation which was reviewed by the Supreme Court in Marshall v. Marshall and Stern v. Marshall.
The Biblical story of Joseph, who was sold to slavery by his brothers who were jealous of his prophetic abilities to analyze dreams and of his being their fathers' favorite.
Jacob's twelve sons, named in Genesis, were Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin. His only daughter mentioned in Genesis is Dinah. The twelve sons became the progenitors of the "Tribes of Israel".
As a result of a severe drought in Canaan, Jacob and his sons moved to Egypt at the time when his son Joseph was viceroy. After 17 years in Egypt, Jacob died, and the length of Jacob's life was 147 years. Joseph carried Jacob's remains to the land of Canaan, and gave him a stately burial in the same Cave of Machpelah as were buried Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca, and Jacob's first wife, Leah.
Jacob is mentioned in a number of sacred scriptures, including the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud, the New Testament, the Quran, hadith, Bahá'í scripture, and the Book of Mormon.
"BONANNO: A GODFATHER'S STORY"
The true life story of mafia boss Joesph Bonanno. The story spans from Bonanno's early beginings in Italy, to his conquests in America.
Joseph Charles Bonanno, Sr. (January 18, 1905 – May 11, 2002) was an Italian-born American mafioso who became the boss of the Bonanno crime family.
O'Bservation: There are two portrayals of Joseph Bonanno in the greater TV Universe. The other was by Ben Gazzara in "Love, Honor, & Obey: The Last Mafia Marriage". Rather than take a stand and decide which one belongs in the main Toobworld, I'll be craven and place them both in "foster homes". But Bonanno does exist in Toobworld - in the "Members Only" episode of 'The Sopranos', he was name-checked
"SOMETHING TO LIVE FOR: THE ALISON GERTZ STORY"
An AIDS-stricken woman becomes a leader in the struggle to educate people about the disease and its prevention.
[Molly] Ringwald spoke about meeting the real Alison Gertz. "I spent a weekend with Ali two weeks before we started the movie. Did I feel nervous? Yes. Guilty? Oh, sure. I remember having dinner with Carol and Jerry - Ali's mother and father. They sat there looking at her and looking at me and we're close to the same age and I'm healthy... I guess it was hard for everyone."
"MAX AND HELEN"
Based on the fact-based novel by Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal based on his 1962 prosecution of the head of a German factory whom he learns was a murderous labor camp commandant. To be able to take him to justice, he must find witnesses who can help him. This leads him to Max Rosenberg, a still tormented individual who lost his wife, Helen, in the camps. Initially Max refuses to cooperate, but gradually his story unfolds beginning before the Holocaust.
Simon Wiesenthal (31 December 1908 – 20 September 2005) was a Jewish Austrian Holocaust survivor, Nazi hunter, and writer.
He studied architecture and was living in Lwów at the outbreak of World War II. He survived the Janowska concentration camp (late 1941 to September 1944), the Kraków-Płaszów concentration camp (September to October 1944), the Gross-Rosen concentration camp, a death march to Chemnitz, Buchenwald, and the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp (February to 5 May 1945).
After the war, Wiesenthal dedicated most of his life to tracking down and gathering information on fugitive Nazi war criminals so that they could be brought to trial. In 1947 he co-founded the Jewish Historical Documentation Centre in Linz, Austria, where he and others gathered information for future war crime trials and aided refugees in their search for lost relatives. He opened the Documentation Centre of the Association of Jewish Victims of the Nazi Regime in Vienna in 1961 and continued to try to locate missing Nazi war criminals. He played a small role in locating Adolf Eichmann, who was captured in Buenos Aires in 1960, and worked closely with the Austrian justice ministry to prepare a dossier on Franz Stangl, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1971.
'TALES OF WELLS FARGO' - "DOC HOLLIDAY"
Jim Hardie at a stop finds a stagecoach holdup netted $50,000 in crisp new bills and Doc Holliday and his wife Amy are there. When Amy receives some of the bills from Doc she accuses him of staging the robbery but Jim is doubtful.
John Henry "Doc" Holliday (August 14, 1851 – November 8, 1887) was an American gambler, gunfighter, and dentist, and a good friend of Wyatt Earp. He is best known for his role as a temporary deputy marshal in the events leading up to and following the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
At age 21 Holliday earned a degree in dentistry from the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery. He set up practice in Atlanta, Georgia, but he was soon diagnosed with tuberculosis, the same disease that had claimed his mother when he was 15, having acquired it while tending to her needs while she was still in the contagious phase of the illness. Hoping the climate in the American Southwest would ease his symptoms, he moved to that region and became a gambler, a reputable profession in Arizona in that day. Over the next few years, he reportedly had several confrontations. While in Texas, he saved Wyatt Earp's life and they became friends. In 1880, he joined Earp in Las Vegas, New Mexico and then rode with him to Prescott, Arizona, and then Tombstone. In Tombstone, local outlaw cowboys repeatedly threatened him and spread rumors that he had robbed a stage. On October 26, 1881, Holliday was deputized by Tombstone city marshal Virgil Earp. The lawmen attempted to disarm five cowboys, which resulted in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
Wyatt Earp learned of an extradition request for Holliday and arranged for Colorado Governor Frederick Walker Pitkin to deny Holliday's extradition. Holliday spent the few remaining years of his life in Colorado, and died of tuberculosis in his bed at the Glenwood Springs Hotel at age 36.
Doc Holliday is one of those True West characters who had many impersonators in the wild wild West. (Two examples - as played by Peter Breck in 'Maverick' and by Jack Kelly in 'High Chapparal'.) Douglas Fowley/Myron Healey is the official face of Holliday as they played the role in 'The Life And Legend Of Wyatt Earp'. (Recastaway splainin - Wyatt's perspective, and his impressions of Doc as being sick... and sicker.)
I might have been inclined to claim that this version of Doc Holliday was seen from Jim Hardie's point of view because of the presence of Holliday's wife. However, her name is Amy and in the Trueniverse her name was Big Nose Kate. I believe they must have been a con artist team who pulled a fast one over the Wells Fargo agent.
Hopefully I can track down that episode so I can make an informed decision on that point.
So we covered six of Martin Landau's characters in this post and we're far from finishing! I'll have another post tomorrow, addressing the major Zonk of the presence of the Moon in modern day Toobworld and Landau's place in that discrepancy discussion.
Does that sound like something you would be interested in?
Probably the creepiest picture of Martin Landau
which I'll be posting during this tribute.
And we still have 'The Outer Limits' to get through!