Tuesday, October 20, 2009
RIP Joseph Wiseman
I imagine Wiseman preferred the stage to film and TV, but he took time off from the boards long enough to get the Bond series off to a great start, adversary-wise, in the title role of Dr. No (1962, pictured). He's splendidly cool and silky in the part, and has rarely been bettered for onscreen villainy. Other memorable film roles included 1951's Detective Story, recreating a stage success, and an acid-etched portrayal in Sidney Lumet's Bye Bye Braverman (1968)--when he tells his son he hates him, he means it. (The Night They Raided Minsky's, too.) It's hard to believe his only accolade was a Drama Desk Award for his performance in the 1969 show In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer, but he made the work look so effortless. I was pleased to see him in his final Broadway appearance, in the 2001 play of Judgment at Nuremberg.