• Image about Ray Wise

On Reaper, Ray Wise plays the prince of darkness with panache.

THE MURDER OF LAURA PALMER on Twin Peaks is among the most famous homicides ever committed on television, and Laura’s father, played by the talented Ray Wise, was the man responsible for the heinous act. “The poor darling who played Laura, Sheryl Lee, needed some downtime and a stiff drink after I was done with her the day we shot that,” Wise says with a laugh.

The 61-year-old can play nice, too, though: He’s portrayed the president and the vice president of the United States, the emperor of Rome, and the king of England, as well as an airline pilot, a brain surgeon, and a lawyer, in other films, TV shows, and even video games. But Wise realizes that sometimes, it’s just more fun to be the bad guy. The most recent case in point is his dastardly turn as the devil on the CW’s offbeat hit Reaper.