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Joseph Wiseman

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Joseph Wiseman May 15, 1918 – October 19, 2009 was a Canadian theatre and film actor, best known for starring as the villain Julius No in the first James Bond film, Dr No, his role as Manny Weisbord on the TV series Crime Story, and his career on Broadway He was once called "the spookiest actor in the American theatre"


  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Career
  • 3 Personal life and death
  • 4 Filmography
  • 5 TV
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links

Early life

Born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada to Orthodox Jewish parents, Louis and Pearl Rubin née Ruchwarger, Wiseman grew up in New York At age 16, he began performing in summer stock and became professional, which displeased his parents

Wiseman was an alumnus of John Adams High School, Queens, New York, graduated June 1935, as was his Dr No co-star, Jack Lord


Wiseman made his Broadway debut in 1938, playing a small part in Robert E Sherwood's Abe Lincoln in Illinois Among the many productions he appeared in during a long career in live theatre, were the title role in In the Matter of J Robert Oppenheimer on Broadway in 1968, and the role of Father Massieu in the original Broadway production of Joan of Lorraine, the Maxwell Anderson play which eventually became the film Joan of Arc

Wiseman appeared in several films in the 1950s He made his first major film appearance in 1951's Detective Story, where he recreated his performance from Broadway as an unstable small-time hood Soon after, he played Marlon Brando's archenemy in Viva Zapata! 1952 Wiseman's most famous role as the titular Dr No in the first James Bond film by Eon Productions came from producer Harry Saltzman, who cast Wiseman in the role in December 1961 It was Wiseman's performance in Detective Story that won him the part Later in his life, he viewed the film with disdain, and preferred to be remembered for his theater career

In 1967, he was cast as Billy Minsky's father in The Night They Raided Minsky's, later he appeared opposite Sir Laurence Olivier in The Betsy 1978 Wiseman had roles in a wide variety of other films: The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, Bye Bye Braverman, and guest-starring and cameo roles in TV series, including The Westerner, The Streets of San Francisco, The Untouchables, Crime Story, The Twilight Zone "One More Pallbearer", Magnum, PI, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, and Night Gallery His last film was made in 1988, though he appeared in TV shows such as MacGyver, LA Law, and Law & Order after that time Wiseman's last appearance on television was the supporting role of Seymour Bergreen on a 1996 episode of Law & Order titled "Family Business" His last Broadway appearance was in Judgment at Nuremberg in 2001

Following the death of Charles Gray in 2000, Wiseman was the last surviving main villain of the James Bond films which Sean Connery made for United Artists

Personal life and death

Wiseman married Nell Kinard on August 28, 1943, but they eventually divorced He was married to dancer, teacher, and choreographer Pearl Lang from 1964 until her death in February 2009 Wiseman died on October 19, 2009 at his home in Manhattan aged 91, having been in declining health for some time He is survived by his daughter, Martha Graham Wiseman, and his sister, Ruth Wiseman


  • With These Hands 1950 as Mike Deleo
  • Detective Story 1951 as Charley Gennini
  • Viva Zapata! 1952 as Fernando Aguirre
  • Les Misérables 1952 as Genflou
  • Champ for a Day 1953 as Dominic Guido
  • The Silver Chalice 1954 as Mijamin
  • The Prodigal 1955 as Carmish
  • Three Brave Men 1956 as Jim Barron
  • The Garment Jungle 1957 as George Kovan
  • The Unforgiven 1960 as Abe Kelsey
  • The Happy Thieves 1961 as Jean Marie Calbert
  • Dr No 1962 as Dr Julius No
  • Bye Bye Braverman 1968 as Felix Ottensteen
  • The Counterfeit Killer 1968 as Rajeski
  • The Night They Raided Minsky's 1968 as Louis Minsky
  • Stiletto 1969 as Emilio Matteo
  • The Mask of Sheba 1970 as Bondelok
  • Lawman 1971 as Lucas
  • The Valachi Papers 1972 as Salvatore Maranzano
  • Pursuit 1972 as Dr Nordmann
  • The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz 1974 as Benjy Kravitz
  • Journey into Fear 1975 as Col Haki
  • Murder at the World Series 1977 as Sam Druckman
  • The Betsy 1978 as Jake Weinstein
  • Buck Rogers in the 25th Century 1979 as Draco
  • Jaguar Lives! 1979 as Ben Ashir
  • Masada 1981 as Jerahmeel
  • Seize the Day 1986 as Dr Adler


  • The Untouchables: Episode: "The Antidote" 1961 as Russell Shield / Albert Maris
  • The Twilight Zone: Episode: "One More Pallbearer" 1962 as Paul Radin
  • QB VII 1974, Mini-series as Morris Cady
  • Greatest American Hero: Episode: "Don't Mess Around with Jim" 1981 as James J Beck
  • Magnum, PI: Episode: "Birdman of Budapest" 1983 as Dr Albert Tessa
  • The Equalizer: Episode: "The Confirmation Day" 1985 as Eddie Vanessi
  • "MacGyver": Episode: "The Battle of Tommy Giordano" 1989 as Joe Catano
  • "Law & Order": Season 7, Episode 8, "Family Business" 11/20/98 as Seymour Bergreen final television appearance


  1. ^ Bernstein, Adam 21 October 2009 "Joseph Wiseman, Broadway actor who played Dr No, dies at 91" – via wwwwashingtonpostcom 
  2. ^ Brustein, Robert December 26, 1964 "Muddy Track at Lincoln Center" The New Republic 151 26: 26–27 
  3. ^ Bernstein, Adam October 21, 2009 "Accomplished Broadway actor immortalized Bond's Dr No" washingtonpostcom Retrieved December 19, 2010 
  4. ^ John Adams Clipper Yearbook June 1935
  5. ^ "Joseph Wiseman Biography 1918-2009" mi6-hqcom October 20, 2009 Retrieved October 20, 2009 
  6. ^ McLellan, Dennis October 21, 2009 "Joseph Wiseman dies at 91; actor played villain in first Bond film starring Sean Connery" latimescom Retrieved December 19, 2010 
  7. ^ Fox, Margalit October 20, 2009 "Joseph Wiseman, James Bond's Dr No, Dies at 91" The New York Times Retrieved October 20, 2009 

External links

  • Biography portal
  • Canada portal
  • Joseph Wiseman on IMDb
  • Joseph Wiseman at the Internet Broadway Database
  • Joseph Wiseman at AllMovie
  • The O'Neill Theater Center

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