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May 15 in Twilight Zone History: Remembering actor Joseph Wiseman on the anniversary of his birth

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May 15, 2018

Today, May 15th, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia remember actor Joseph Wiseman on the anniversary of his birth in 1918.

Wiseman starred in "One More Pallbearer" as revenge-seeking millionaire Paul Radin, a man who speaks in measured tones as he invites three people to his bomb shelter, built into the sublevel of his Manhattan office building. These people – a school teacher (Katherine Squire), his former Army commanding officer (Trevor Bardette), and a priest (Gage Clarke) – have all accused him of wrongdoings that destroyed his reputation, and now Radin is serving his revenge as they watch the world about to be obliterated in a nuclear holocaust on a viewing screen.

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Paul Radin (Joseph Wiseman, right) confronts two of his "victims," a priest (Gage Clarke, center) and his former commanding officer (Trevor Bardette-left) in "One More Pallbearer."

Wiseman was perfectly cast as Radin, a man who will stop at nothing to exact his precise retribution. There is no doubt that this performance was observed by producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, who were casting the title role in their first James Bond movie, Dr. No. Radin's form of measured speak favored the verbal mannerisms of the S.P.E.C.T.R.E. agent.

Wiseman (1918-2009), a Canadian, first rose to prominence as Gennini the thief in William Wyler's Detective Story. Later in his career, he took on the role of Mafioso Manny Weisbord in Crime Story, but it is the role of Dr. No that sticks with us over 50 years later. I can still hear him berating James Bond (Sean Connery) at the dinner table, "You are just a stupid policeman whose time has run out." He then turns to ex-wrestler Milton Reid and says, "Soften him up."

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Joseph Wiseman in the title role of Dr. No (1962).

So let's raise a Caribbean cocktail to Wiseman, Paul Radin and the spectre of nuclear annihilation, hopefully just another ominous scenario designed for small screens only in The Twilight Zone.