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updated 10/21/2009 9:22:38 AM ET 2009-10-21T13:22:38

Joseph Wiseman, an actor who played the sinister scientist and title character of Dr. No in the first James Bond feature film, has died. He was 91.

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Wiseman, who had been in declining health, died Monday at his home in Manhattan, his daughter, Martha Graham Wiseman, told The New York Times and Los Angeles Times.

A screen and stage actor, Wiseman's film credits include "Detective Story" (1951) and "The Unforgiven" (1960). He also had guest roles on television shows "Law & Order," "The Streets of San Francisco," "The Twilight Zone" and "The Untouchables," according to The New York Times.

He is likely best known, however, for his villainous role in "Dr. No," the first in a long string of James Bond movies. The 1962 film introduced Sean Connery as James Bond and also starred Ursula Andress.

Wiseman was born in Montreal on May 15, 1918. He moved to the United States with his family when he was a boy.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Wiseman started acting when he was a teenager, getting his start in summer stock.

In 1938, he was given a small part in his first Broadway play, Robert E. Sherwood's "Abe Lincoln in Illinois."

Wiseman's other Broadway credits include "Joan of Lorraine" (1946), "Antony and Cleopatra" (1947), "Detective Story" (1949); and most recently in the stage adaptation of Abby Mann's film "Judgment at Nuremberg" (2001).

"Stage acting was what he wanted to be remembered for," Wiseman's daughter told the Los Angeles newspaper.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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