Raymond Herbert "Ray" Wise (born August 20, 1947) is an American actor. Some of his best-known roles include Leland Palmer in Twin Peaks, henchman Leon C. Nash in RoboCop, Jack Taggart Sr. in Jeepers Creepers 2, the Devil in the CW television series Reaper, Donald Wadsworth in Suburban Gothic and Hal Gardner in season 5 of 24.

Personal life

Ray Wise

Wise was born in Akron, Ohio, graduated from Garfield High School in 1964 and attended Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. He is of Romanian descent on his mother's side. He grew up in a religious family; during his childhood he went to a Romanian Baptist church in Akron and later moved to a Methodist church.


Ray Wise


Wise is best known for his role as Laura Palmer's father Leland in Twin Peaks. In the late sixties and seventies, Wise played attorney Jamie Rollins on the soap opera, Love of Life for seven years and nearly 950 episodes. He played the character of Dr. Alec Holland in the 1982 film Swamp Thing, directed by Wes Craven and based upon the comic book series of the same name. Dr. Holland is the man who becomes the titular character after his lab is destroyed and he is left for dead. The actual Swamp Thing character was played by Dick Durock. In 1987, Wise played Tom Gunther, Catherine Chandler's boyfriend, in the pilot episode of the TV series Beauty and the Beast. In addition to Twin Peaks, Wise has played several roles in science fiction. He played the harried dad in the horror film Dead End. He made an appearance as Liko in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Who Watches the Watchers", and later played Arturis in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Hope and Fear".

He appeared in the Season 7 episode "The Flame" of Diagnosis: Murder. He was featured in three episodes of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! as Grill Vogel, the presenter of a fictitious instructional video series called "Business Hugs."

In 1995, Wise was reunited with Twin Peaks cast mate Sherilyn Fenn in the NBC telemovie Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story. Wise played 1950s CBS News anchor Don Hollenbeck in the 2005 film Good Night, and Good Luck. He also starred as the Devil on the TV series Reaper. In recent years, Wise has appeared on a number of political-themed television series and films. He briefly appeared on The West Wing as California governor Gabriel "Gabe" Tillman, and played Vice President Hal Gardner on the Emmy-winning Fox series 24 in 2006. In August 2006, Wise made a guest appearance in the Fox TV series Bones as the primary suspect of the first episode of the second season ("The Titan on the Tracks"), and in the pilot episode of Burn Notice. In Season 8, Episode 13 of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2007), Wise guest starred as the head of a company testing pesticides on little children. Wise has also guest starred in two episodes of The Closer, as lawyer Tom Blanchard. He starred in Charmed as the upper level demon Ludlow, who runs a school for the Source Of All Evil in the episode "Lost and Bound." He had a small role in one episode of the sixth season of Dawson's Creek, playing Roger Stepateck. Wise starred in the 2009 SyFy original movie Infestation. He was a guest star in Psych and played the lead as Avery in a psychological thriller, Iodine, in 2009. In 2010, in a special episode of Psych titled "Dual Spires", he joined his fellow Twin Peaks alumni Dana Ashbrook, Robyn Lively, Lenny Von Dohlen, Sheryl Lee, Catherine E. Coulson, and Sherilyn Fenn in a spoof of Twin Peaks.

Wise has appeared in several episodes of Mad Men as Ken Cosgrove's father-in-law Ed Baxter, the CEO of Corning. He appeared in "Chinese Wall" (Season 4, Episode 11), "At the Codfish Ball" (Season 5, Episode 7), "Commissions and Fees" (Season 5, Episode 12) and "Severance" (Season 7, Episode 8).

In 2010, Wise guest-starred as fictitious sports agent Bobby Fox alongside a special guest appearance from real life ex-Yankees manager Joe Torre on the TV series Castle in the Season 2 Episode "Suicide Squeeze." He also guest starred on Dollhouse as Howard, a higher-up in the Dollhouse organization. He stars in Kyle Rankin's post-apocalyptic horror thriller film Nuclear Family. Wise will star in the lead of the upcoming Mike Mendez thriller film Ov3rk!ll.

Wise appeared in Season 4 of Chuck, and the hit FX television show Wilfred as a popular TV personality. He was cast in the part of Robin Scherbatsky's father on How I Met Your Mother in December 2010 (after Eric Braeden declined to make a cameo appearance). Ray made a cameo appearance as a modeling agent in episode four of season 2 of Workaholics.

Wise made an appearance in 2012 in the TV series Rizzoli & Isles (Season 3, Episode 7, "Crazy for You") in drag as a cross-dressing judge.

Wise made an appearance in 2013 in the TV series How I Met Your Mother (Season 8, Episode 13, "Band or DJ?") as Robin Scherbatsky's father, Robin Scherbatsky Sr. He appeared in 6 episodes of the series in total. Ray prominently appeared in the music video "Wishes" for the group Beach House. It was directed by Eric Wareheim and features Ray in a kind of dreamy, demented football halftime show. He is currently appearing as Andy Rooney parody Skip Reming on Newsreaders. In January, 2014 he was hired to play the character of Ian Ward on the long running soap The Young and the Restless.He played the mayor in the 1st season of Deadbeat


In 1985, Wise was cast as Sol Gann, father to Natty Gann in the Disney film The Journey of Natty Gann, directed by Jeremy Paul Kagan. Wise played the role of entrepreneur/millionaire Dalton Voss in the movie The Chase. He played the role of Bart's father Harrison in the movie The Battle of Shaker Heights. He also played the role of Jack Taggart in the horror film Jeepers Creepers 2. In 2003, he portrayed father and husband Frank Harrington in the horror film Dead End. In 2005, he appeared as newscaster and commentator Don Hollenbeck in Good Night, and Good Luck, directed by George Clooney. In 2007 he appeared in The Flock as Robert Still. In 2008 he had a role in the horror remake One Missed Call. In the year 2011, Wise played the role of United States Secretary of State in X-Men: First Class. He appeared in Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie as Dr. Doone Struts, the leader of the Shrim Healing Center. Chillerama - 2011 He appeared in Revelation Road: The Beginning of the End - 2013 as Franks. He played Major Braxton Tanner in the movie Big Ass Spider! and was in Suburban Gothic. 2014 appeared in the documentary horror film Digging Up the Marrow under the direction of Adam Green.

Voice work

As a voice actor, Wise played Perry White in the movie Superman: Doomsday.

Video games

He is also known for portraying Michael Dugan, President of the United States in the full-motion video cutscenes for the computer real-time strategy game Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 and its expansion Yuri's Revenge.


Wise is currently starring in an original Chipotle web series titled Farmed and Dangerous; he plays Buck Marshall in the satirical black comedy-type situation comedy.


Ray Wise

Further reading

  • Voisin, Scott, "Character Kings: Hollywood's Familiar Faces Discuss the Art & Business of Acting." BearManor Media, 2009. ISBN 978-1-59393-342-5.

External links

  • Ray Wise at the Internet Movie Database
  • Ray Wise interview at sci-fi-online.com
  • Ray Wise interview at time out Chicago
  • Ray Wise Transcript Interview 12 December 1990 NPR

Ray Wise

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