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Ray Wise (born 20 August 1947; age 74) is an actor who has made two appearances in the Star Trek franchise. He first played Liko in the Star Trek: The Next Generation third season episode "Who Watches The Watchers" in 1989. Later, he guest-starred as Arturis in the Star Trek: Voyager fourth season episode "Hope and Fear" in 1998.

Born in Akron, Ohio, Wise is a veteran of over a hundred film and television projects, though he is perhaps best known for his portrayal of Leland Palmer on the cult drama series Twin Peaks. Other television roles for which he is known include the recurring character of Vice President Hal Gardner on the Fox series 24 and his role as The Devil on the CW series Reaper. Perhaps his best known film roles are those of Dr. Alec Holland in Wes Craven's 1982 horror film Swamp Thing and Leon Nash in the 1987 science fiction film RoboCop.



In 1970, Wise landed the regular role of Jamie Rollins on the CBS soap opera Love of Life, remaining with the show until 1976. A year later, he appeared in Broadway stage productions of two classical plays: William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, with Jennifer Savidge, and Molière's Tartuffe, with Roy Brocksmith and Stefan Gierasch. Wise played Benvolio in the former and Damis in the latter.

In 1978, Wise was cast in his first TV guest appearance by director Cliff Bole, who later directed many Star Trek episodes. The part was for an episode of the action/drama series Charlie's Angels. This was followed with an appearance on Paramount Television's Barnaby Jones, in an episode also guest starring TNG regular Jonathan Frakes and directed by Leo Penn.



Wise made his major feature film debut in Wes Craven's Swamp Thing, the cult 1982 horror/science fiction favorite based on the DC Comics character. In this film, Wise starred as Doctor Alec Holland, the scientist who was transformed into the title creature. His co-stars in this film included Adrienne Barbeau and Nicholas Worth. Wise and Barbeau again worked together in the 1985 CBS TV movie Seduced.

Wise's next film role was a brief appearance as a man in a TV soap opera in the 1982 horror-thriller Cat People. The principal cast of this film included fellow Star Trek alumni Ed Begley, Jr., Malcolm McDowell, and John Larroquette; the movie's special make-up effects were handled by Thomas R. Burman, Bari Burman, and Edouard F. Henriques, among others.

Wise played the supporting role of Leon Nash in the 1987 blockbuster RoboCop. Wise's character in this film was the right-hand man of gang leader Clarence Boddicker, who was played by fellow Trek veteran Kurtwood Smith. Both of their character were responsible for the torture and murder of police officer Alex Murphy, who was later transformed into RoboCop; Murphy was played by Peter Weller, who later guest-starred on Star Trek: Enterprise and Star Trek Into Darkness. Other actors who had roles in this film include Ronny Cox, Robert DoQui, and Miguel Ferrer.


Throughout 1982, Wise appeared on the prime-time soap opera Dallas in the recurring role of Blair Sullivan. He was seen in eight episodes of the show, working with performers such as Susan Howard (who was a regular on the show), Bill Erwin, Bruce French, John Larroquette, Leigh J. McCloskey, J. Patrick McNamara, Charles Napier, Paul Sorensen, and Morgan Woodward.

In 1984, Wise guest-starred on T.J. Hooker, the police drama which starred William Shatner and James Darren. His subsequent television credits during the 1980s included recurring roles on The Colbys (with Ricardo Montalban and Tracy Scoggins), L.A. Law (with Corbin Bernsen and Earl Boen), and Knots Landing. In the latter series, he appeared as "The Dealer" in seven episodes, the last of which featured Tina Lifford.


Twin Peaks

Wise is perhaps best known for his role on the cult television series Twin Peaks, in which he played mentally-unstable lawyer Leland Palmer, whose daughter's murder served as the catalyst for the events of the series. Wise appeared in the first 17 episodes of the series. He returned to the series for its final episode, playing a grinning doppelganger of his Leland Palmer character.

Wise reprised his role as Palmer in the 1992 prequel film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me. Wise's performance in this film earned him a Saturn Award nomination from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films as Best Supporting Actor. Wise's co-stars in both the series and the film included Mädchen Amick and Miguel Ferrer. The series also starred Richard Beymer and featured a recurring performance by Carel Struycken.

Other television work

During the 1993-1994 television season, Wise was a regular on the CBS soap opera Second Chances. His castmates on this series included fellow TNG guest star and RoboCop co-star Ronny Cox, as well as TNG alumni Erich Anderson, Brenda Bakke, and Michelle Phillips. The series only lasted that one season, although Wise later worked with Phillips in a 1999 episode of Diagnosis Murder entitled "The Flame," which also featured Joanna Cassidy. Wise worked alongside Beth Toussaint on another soap opera, Savannah, but this series ended after one season, as well.

Wise's television guest appearances during the 1990s included a 1994 appearance of The Larry Sanders Show, on which Penny Johnson and Wallace Langham were regulars. He later had brief recurring roles on Sleepwalkers (which starred Bruce Greenwood) and Beverly Hills, 90210 (in which he and Leigh Taylor-Young played husband and wife). On the latter show, Wise was directed by Chip Chalmers and Anson Williams.


In the acclaimed 1992 film Bob Roberts, Wise played the supporting role Chet MacGregor, the manager of the title character's senatorial campaign. Lee Arenberg also appeared in this film. Wise's subsequent film credits included Rising Sun (1993, with Cary-Hiroyuki and Clyde Kusatsu) and The Chase (1994, with Natalia Nogulich).



Wise had a recurring role as Jack Mornay on the Showtime series Resurrection Blvd. during the show's first two seasons, from 2000 through 2001. Tony Plana and Daniel Zacapa were regulars on this series; other actors Wise worked with on the show included Clifton Collins, Jr., Mike Gomez, Kamala Lopez-Dawson, Lawrence Monoson, and Douglas Spain. Jesús Salvador Treviño directed four of Wise's twelve episodes, including his first.

In 2006, Wise played the recurring role of Hal Gardner, Vice President to Gregory Itzin's President Charles Logan, on the action/drama series 24 during the show's fifth season. Among the other performers he worked with on this series were Jude Ciccolella, Roger Cross, the aforementioned Glenn Morshower, and Wise's RoboCop co-star Peter Weller.

Wise has also guest-starred on such series as Charmed, Dawson's Creek, The West Wing, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. In 2007, he was seen on Shark, the CBS crime drama which starred Jeri Ryan. That same year, he appeared on the short-lived drama series Six Degrees, which was executive produced by J.J. Abrams, Kenneth Biller, and Bryan Burk. He also guest-starred in the pilot for the USA Network series Burn Notice.

From 2007 through 2009, Wise starred as The Devil on the CW comedy series Reaper. He was nominated for a Television Critics Association Awards for Individual Achievement in Comedy for his work on this series in 2008. After Reaper ended, Wise guest-starred on the USA Network series Psych, on which Corbin Bernsen is a regular.


Wise had a supporting role in the 2001 romantic comedy film Two Can Play That Game, which starred Gabrielle Union. In 2003, he starred in two horror films: Dead End and Jeepers Creepers II. He also appeared in the 2003 romantic comedy/drama The Battle of Shaker Heights, along with the aforementioned William Sadler.

In 2005, Wise portrayed CBS newscaster Don Hollenbeck in the Academy Award-nominated film Good Night, and Good Luck. His character worked for CBS founder and chief executive William Paley, who was played in the film by Frank Langella. JD Cullum, Robert Knepper, and Glenn Morshower also had roles in the film; Robert Elswit was Director of Photography. For their performances, the film's principal cast members – including Wise and Langella – were nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

Wise won a B-Movie Award as Best Actor for his performance in the 2006 comedy Cyxork 7. In addition, he voiced Daily Planet Editor-in-Chief Perry White in the direct-to-video animated movie Superman/Doomsday and starred opposite John Billingsley in the short film AM1200. Wise worked with another Enterprise regular, Linda Park, in the 2009 independent horror comedy Infestation.



In early 2010, Wise was seen in an episode of the ABC series Castle directed by David Barrett. He also made guest appearances in episodes of Suitmates (2010), The Good Guys (2010, with Derek Webster, Ethan Phillips, and Brett Rickaby), Mad Men (2010, with Kevin Rahm, Mark Colson, and Bill Blair), and Easy to Assemble (2010, with Wallace Langham). He reprised his role as Father Peter Westley in another episode of Psych (2010), titles "Dual Spires" which is an homage to the cult series Twin Peaks and featured many of the former regulars. Wise also appeared in episodes of How I Met Your Mother (2011, with Suzie Plakson) and Hawaii Five-0 (2011, starring Daniel Dae Kim and with Branscombe Richmond) and had a featured part as Riley in three episodes of the action comedy series Chuck (2011, with Bonita Friedericy and Michael Bailey Smith).

Presently, Wise is playing a recurring role as the villianous Ian Ward on the daytime soap opera, The Young and the Restless.


Wise appeared in the comedy Inventing Adam (2010, with Scott L. Schwartz and Paul Willson) and portrayed the Secretary of State in the superhero prequel X-Men: First Class (2011, co-written and co-produced by Bryan Singer and with Glenn Morshower and stuntwoman Chrissy Weathersby). He also starred in the action comedy FDR: American Badass! (2011, with Bruce McGill, Matt Winston, Richard Riehle, Paul Willson, and Jamison Yang), the adventure Black Velvet (2011, with Lee Arenberg and Richard Riehle), and the drama Fishers of Men (2011, with Kevin Stillwell).

Wise finished filming on the drama The Boarding House (2012) and the horror thriller Rosewood Lane (2012, with stunts by Mark Chadwick and Alex Daniels). Currently he is filming the thriller The Millionaire Tour (2012), the action thriller The Aggression Scale (2012, with Derek Mears), and is reprising his role as Jack Taggart, Sr. in the horror sequel Jeepers Creepers 3: Cathedral (2013, co-starring Gina Philips and Jonathan Breck).

Other Trek connections


TV movies / mini-series

TV guest appearances

Other projects

  • Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2 (2001 video game) with Nicholas Worth (also expansion pack, Yuri's Revenge)
  • Easy to Assemble (online series, 1 episode, 2010) with Wallace Langham

External links