Joseph Wiseman, actor (b at Montréal 15 May 1918; d at Manhattan 19 Oct 2009). Joseph Wiseman is unforgettable as the titular archfiend Dr. No bent on destroying the world in the first James Bond film (1962). Wiseman often played villains of a cerebral nature. Gaunt and sharp-eyed, he began his acting career on the American stage in 1935. He entered the movies in the 1950s, and played a psychotic killer in Detective Story (1951) opposite Kirk Douglas, a cynical reporter in Viva Zapata! (1952) with Marlon Brando, and a Mafia mobster in The Valachi Papers (1972). He appeared in numerous television series from Untouchables in the 1950s to Law and Order in the 1990s and had a recurring role in the NBC drama Crime Story (1986-88).
Despite his on-screen performances as the "heavy," Joseph Wiseman was a Jewish scholar who travelled extensively, giving readings from Yiddish and Jewish literature. He spent most of the 1960s performing with the Lincoln Center Repertory Theater in New York City, returning to Canada in 1974 to play the part of Uncle Benjy in Ted KOTCHEFF's awarding-winning The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. Wiseman also provided the voice-over for Harry RASKY's Oscar-nominated documentary, Homage to Chagall: The Colours of Love (1977), about the famous Russian-Jewish painter.