Martin Landau could have had a very popular role on Star Trek: The Original Series.
Three-time Oscar-nomiated and Oscar winning actor Martin Landau played the master of disguise, Rollin Hand, on Mission Impossible from 1966-1969, but before he took on that supporting role, he was offered a starring role in another series that would begin airing the same time. Star Trek: The Original Series. As Mr. Spock.
Mr. Spock was pitched as an alien who didn’t make decisions based on emotion. In fact, he didn’t express emotion at all. As a Vulcan, Spock did not allow emotions to control him. Instead, he filtered everything through logic. So telling an actor that they would have to portray a character but without using emotion had to have been a challenge, and it was definitely one Landau didn’t want to accept.
Martin Landau could have been on Star Trek as Mr. Spock.
The actor, who passed away in 2017, was asked by Starlog Magazine [via thedigitalfix.com] in 1986 if he ever regretted his decision to turn down the role.
"“You have to think of the turmoil of the ’60s. A superintelligent creature with pointy ears who thought logically was exactly right – except I didn’t want to act it. I did not want to be saddled with the role of a character without feeling.”"
While Landau’s reason was understandable, amazingly, Leonard Nimoy took on the role and made it one of the most popular ones in science fiction history even without using emotion. Gene Roddenberry created the character of Mr. Spock, but Nimoy brought him to life onscreen. And he became a fan favorite. Viewers will never forget his portrayal of Spock, and though Landau undoubtedly could have made the role his own, because he turned it down, Nimoy took the opportunity and won the hearts of millions of fans who remain devoted to the character to this day.