Joseph Wiseman, the very fine Montreal-born character actor who played the first cinematic James Bond supervillain, Dr. Julius No, has passed on at the age of 91. A highly accomplished stage performer, he apparently had little idea he was going to be involved in the launch of a major global phenomenon and didn’t have a huge amount of respect for the property at first, but he certainly carried off the role with aplomb.
Alongside his stage work he had a strangely coincidental 91 film and TV acting credits including Elia Kazan’s “Viva Zapata!” and William Wyler’s “Detective Story.” Still, the role that makes an actor just a little bit more immortal than others isn’t always the one he might expect.
Below, as beautiful Honey Rider (legendary Bond-girl #1, Ursula Andress) looks on, we have the first of many strangely civilized social encounters between Bond (Sean Connery, who else?) and an ultra-evil would-be world dominator. It begins at about 5:05.
H/t the always invaluable Twitter feed of The Auteur’s Daily.