The very first James Bond villain dies at the age of 91 !!
Joseph Wiseman, a longtime stage and screen actor most widely known for playing the villainous title character in â€œDr. No,â€ the first feature film about James Bond, died on Monday at his home in Manhattan. He was 91.
His daughter, Martha Graham Wiseman, confirmed the death, saying her father had recently been in declining health.
Released in 1962, â€œDr. Noâ€ was the first in what proved to be a decades-long string of Bond movies. Starring Sean Connery and Ursula Andress, the film featured Mr. Wiseman as Dr. Julius No, the sinister scientist who was Bondâ€™s first big-screen adversary.
Mr. Wisemanâ€™s other film credits include â€œDetective Storyâ€ (1951); â€œViva Zapata!â€ (1952); â€œThe Garment Jungleâ€ (1957); â€œThe Unforgivenâ€ (1960); â€œThe Night They Raided Minskyâ€™sâ€ (1968) and â€œThe Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitzâ€ (1974).
He had guest roles on many television shows, among them â€œLaw & Order,â€ â€œThe Streets of San Francisco,â€ â€œThe Untouchablesâ€ and â€œThe Twilight Zone.â€ In the late 1980s, he had a recurring role as the crime boss Manny Weisbord on the NBC drama â€œCrime Story.â€
On Broadway, Mr. Wiseman was seen most recently, in 2001, as a witness for the prosecution in Abby Mannâ€™s stage adaptation of his film drama â€œJudgment at Nuremberg.â€ In 1994, he appeared Off Broadway in the Tony Kushner play â€œSlavs!â€ in the role of Prelapsarianov, â€œthe worldâ€™s oldest living Bolshevik.â€
Writing in The New York Times, Vincent Canby said Mr. Wiseman played Prelapsarianov â€œto frail perfection.â€
Joseph Wiseman was born in Montreal on May 15, 1918, and moved to the United States with his family when he was a boy. His first Broadway role was in the company of â€œAbe Lincoln in Illinoisâ€ (1938). Among his many other Broadway credits are â€œJoan of Lorraineâ€ (1946), â€œAntony and Cleopatraâ€ (1947), â€œDetective Storyâ€ (1949); â€œThe Larkâ€ (1955) and the title role in â€œIn the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimerâ€ (1969).
Mr. Wisemanâ€™s first marriage, to Nell Kinard, ended in divorce; his second wife, the choreographer Pearl Lang, died in February. In addition to his daughter, Martha, from his marriage to Ms. Kinard, Mr. Wiseman is survived by a sister, Ruth Wiseman.
[Article from New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/20/arts/20wiseman.html?_r=2]