• 13 February 1916
  •  Vienna, Austria

Joseph Fürst


Lean, distinguished-looking Viennese character actor, latterly white-haired and with distinctive dark eyebrows. Though he initially studied law in Vienna, Fürst became interested in acting and was given his first opportunities on stage in Canada. He then moved to England in search of better job prospects, eventually finding his niche in British films and on television. Fürst is best remembered on screen for playing suave, villainous scientists, invariably of Eastern European, Germanic or Italian ethnicity. Arguably, as to the most prominent among those, look no further than his maniacal, power-mad Professor Hermann Zaroff in the Doctor Who (1963) episode 'The Underwater Menace' (1967); or his laser refraction specialist, Professor Dr. Metz, in the James Bond classic Diamonds Are Forever (1971). Fürst occasionally returned to his native Austria for theatrical appearances in Vienna and Salzburg. He ultimately retired to Bateau Bay, New South Wales, and made a few more appearances on Australian TV soaps and in films.