This is a Visual History Recording
Visual History with Herbert Wise
Interviewed by: Mike Newell
Herbert Wise is a British feature and television director best known for his mini-series and movies for television work including I, Claudius (1976), Vienna 1900 (1975), The Norman Conquests (1978), Skokie (1981), and The Woman in Black (1989). After finishing a stint as a Met Air Observer for the Royal Air Force during World War II, Wise transitioned into stage acting, where he discovered and honed his directorial skills.
Beginning his directorial career in repertory theatre in England, Wise transitioned to directing live network television for Association British Corporation and Granada Television in the late 1950s. After an almost 20 year stint directing on the BBC, Wise gained recognition in America for I, Claudius, earning his first directing primetime Emmy nomination in 1978. The success of I, Claudius led to his hiring on the television movie Skokie. It was for this project that Wise joined the DGA and subsequently won the 1982 DGA Movies for Television award, as well as receiving a second Emmy nomination.
In addition to a long and active career as a member of the DGA, Wise is also a member and was on the board of both the Directors Guild of Great Britain and Directors UK. Wise has been nominated for three BAFTA awards; for I, Claudius in 1977, The Norman Conquests in 1978, and Breaking the Code in 1998.