Tuesday, October 20, 2009

RIP Joseph Wiseman

Joseph Wiseman, a longtime stage and screen actor most widely known for playing the villainous title character in “Dr. No,” the first feature film about James Bond, died on Monday October 19 at his home in Manhattan. He was 91.

Mr. Wiseman gained recognition for his role as Dr. Julius in the 1962 James Bond film “Dr. No” starring Sean Connery. Mr. Wiseman’s other film credits include “Detective Story” (1951); “Viva Zapata!” (1952); “The Garment Jungle” (1957); “The Unforgiven” (1960); “The Night They Raided Minsky’s” (1968) and “The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz” (1974). He had guest roles on many television shows, among them “Law & Order,” “The Streets of San Francisco,” “The Untouchables” and “The Twilight Zone.” In the late 1980s, he had a recurring role as the crime boss Manny Weisbord on the NBC drama “Crime Story.”

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 “Abe Lincoln in Illinois” (1938). Among his many other Broadway credits are “Joan of Lorraine” (1946), “Antony and Cleopatra” (1947), “Detective Story” (1949); “The Lark” (1955) and the title role in “In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer” (1969).

Mr. Wiseman appeared in one European western as Lucas in 1971's “Lawman” starring Burt Lancaster.


  1. I didn't know that Lawman has some European backing, IMDb & Wikipedia list is as 100% US film. What kind of a co-production was it?

  2. IMDb is almost as bad as Weisser's book. The information listed there, like Wikipedia, can be given by anyone and only until the last few years did they require any documentation or references to verify anything given.

    Michael Winner is British and he founded Scimitar Productions based in London. That's European enough for me. The film was shot in Mexico. I also classify U.S. productions filmed in Spain, Romania etc. as European because many of the cast members and crew members are European. The decision to accept these films as American or European is up to the viewer.

  3. I didn't know that Scimitar was Winner's company as I'm not really familiar with his career with the exception of the films he made with Bronson. Well, that explains it. Thank you for the help, again.

  4. Winner was living in the U.S. at the time the film was made. United Artist was the co-production company and as warned Wikipedia says Dino De Laurentis had something to do with the production (?). The cinematographer and one of the assistant directors were British. I agree it is not a true European western but falls somewhere on the fringe.

  5. Thanks for the piece Tom,

    Always remember a quote from Wiseman's character in Lawman about the marshal "Walk wide of him boy, walk wide of him"

    Good stuff

    All the best

    David D