POP ICON DR NO IS GONE

Published on: October 21, 2009
POP ICON DR NO IS GONE

The man who played the very first villain in the very first James Bond film, Joseph Wiseman, dead at 91.

Joseph Wiseman, a longtime stage and film actor,who defined the art of super-villainy with his iconic portrayal of evil super-scientist Dr. No passed at his home in Manhattan his daughter confirmed, saying Wiseman had been in declining health.

 Dr. No which was released in 1962 was the first in a forty decade span of James Bond movies. Starring Sean Connery as hunky 007 and bikini-clad eye opener Ursula Andress, Wiseman provided the menace with his suave coolness and metallic hands lost to an atomic accident that provided the template for movie baddies for  years to come. 

"I had no idea it would achieve the success it did," Wiseman said with a laugh. "As far as I was concerned, I thought it might be just another grade-B Charlie Chan mystery."

Wiseman’s other major films include Detective Story with Kirk Douglas, Viva Zapata!The Unforgiven (1960) with Burt Lancaster and Audrey Hepburn and The Night They Raid ed Mnsky's. 

Among his many TV shots were Twilight Zone, Law & Order, The Streets of San Francisco, The Untouchables and  during the 1980s, Wiseman had a recurring role as the crime kingpin Manny Weisbord on Crime Story. 

Weisman appeared on Broadway in Judgment at Nuremberg in 2001 and many other plays.

 His daughter told the LA Times that he wanted to be remembered for his stage acting but as a pop icon he will always be remembered as the Red Chinese mad man who nearly destroyed the US space program AND James Bond  -- and for that we are eternally grateful.