Nehemiah Persoff in 1960
|Residence||Cambria, California, U.S.|
|Spouse(s)||Thia Persoff (1951–present)|
Nehemiah Persoff (born August 2, 1919) is a retired actor. He appeared in more than 200 television series, films and plays in his career spanning 52 years.
Born in Jerusalem, Persoff emigrated with his family to the United States in 1929 and graduated from the Hebrew Technical Institute in 1937.After serving in the United States Army during World War II, he worked as a subway electrician, maintaining signals while he began to pursue his acting career in the New York theater. In 1947, he was accepted into the Actors Studio , and was one of the 26 members of the beginners' class taught by Elia Kazan, along with James Whitmore and Julie Harris. He began his acting career in 1948.
Jerusalem is a city in the Middle East, located on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. It is one of the oldest cities in the world, and is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority claim Jerusalem as their capital, as Israel maintains its primary governmental institutions there and the State of Palestine ultimately foresees it as its seat of power; however, neither claim is widely recognized internationally.
Hebrew Technical Institute was a vocational High School in New York City. The school was founded on January 7, 1884 and closed in 1939.
The United States Army (USA) is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, and is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution. As the oldest and most senior branch of the U.S. military in order of precedence, the modern U.S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, which was formed to fight the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)—before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army. The United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, and dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775.
One of his first notable roles was as the gangster boss "Little Bonaparte", a parody of Benito Mussoliniin Billy Wilder's film classic Some Like It Hot (1959, he is today the last surviving credited cast member of the film). He also appeared in supporting roles in films such as The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) and The Comancheros (1961). In the film Yentl (1983), Persoff portrayed the father of Barbra Streisand's character. He appeared in the comedy film Twins (1988), and in the American Tail animated-film series as Papa Mousekewitz. His last movie was 4 Faces (1999), which was the last film to be directed by Ted Post.
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician and journalist who was the leader of the National Fascist Party. He ruled Italy as Prime Minister from 1922 to 1943; he constitutionally led the country until 1925, when he dropped the pretense of democracy and established a dictatorship.
Billy Wilder was an Austrian-born American filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, artist, and journalist whose career spanned more than five decades. He is regarded as one of the most brilliant and versatile filmmakers of the Hollywood Golden Age of cinema. With The Apartment, Wilder became the first person to win Academy Awards as producer, director, and screenwriter for the same film.
Some Like It Hot is a 1959 American black and white romantic comedy film set in 1929, directed and produced by Billy Wilder, starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon. The supporting cast includes George Raft, Pat O'Brien, Joe E. Brown, Joan Shawlee, and Nehemiah Persoff. The screenplay by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond is based on a screenplay by Robert Thoeren and Michael Logan from the French film Fanfare of Love. The film is about two musicians who dress in drag in order to escape from mafia gangsters whom they witnessed commit a crime inspired by the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre.
His many television credits include Five Fingers ("The Moment of Truth"), The Big Valley ("Legend of a General", Parts I & II, episode), Alfred Hitchcock Presents ("Heart of Gold" episode), The Twilight Zone ("Judgment Night"), The Untouchables , Naked City , Route 66 (two episodes), Seaway ("Last Voyage" episode, 1965), The Legend of Jesse James , Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea , Gunsmoke , Gilligan's Island , The Wild Wild West , The High Chaparral ("Fiesta" episode, 1970), Hawaii Five-O (7 episodes), Ellery Queen ("The Adventure of the Pharaoh's Curse" episode), Mission: Impossible (3 episodes), Adam-12 ("Vendetta" episode), The Mod Squad and Barney Miller (2 different characters in a total of 3 episodes).
Five Fingers is an NBC adventure/drama series set in Europe during the Cold War loosely based on the 1952 film 5 Fingers, starring James Mason and Danielle Darrieux. It ran from October 3, 1959, to January 9, 1960.
The Big Valley is an American Western television series which ran on ABC from September 15, 1965 to May 19, 1969, starring Barbara Stanwyck as the widow of a wealthy 19th-century California rancher and Richard Long, Lee Majors, Peter Breck and Linda Evans as her family. The series was created by A.I. Bezzerides and Louis F. Edelman and produced by Levy-Gardner-Laven for Four Star Television.
Alfred Hitchcock Presents is an American television anthology series that was hosted and produced by Alfred Hitchcock; the program aired on CBS and NBC between 1955 and 1965. It featured dramas, thrillers, and mysteries. By the time it premiered on October 2, 1955, Hitchcock had been directing films for over three decades. Time magazine named it one of "The 100 Best TV Shows of All Time". The Writers Guild of America ranked it #79 on their list of the 101 Best-Written TV Series tying it with Monty Python's Flying Circus, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Upstairs, Downstairs.
In the mid-1980s, when health problems decreased his acting workload, Persoff pursued painting, specializing in watercolor.
Watercolor or watercolour, also aquarelle, is a painting method in which the paints are made of pigments suspended in a water-based solution. Watercolor refers to both the medium and the resulting artwork. Aquarelles painted with water-soluble colored ink instead of modern water colors are called "aquarellum atramento" by experts. However, this term has been more and more passing out of use.
He retired from acting in 1999 and devoted full time to his painting. He currently lives with his wife, Thia, in Cambria, California.They have four children.
Cambria (; is a seaside village in San Luis Obispo County, California, United States midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles along California State Route 1. The name Cambria, chosen in 1869, is the Latin name for Wales. Cambria is situated amidst Monterey pines in one of only three such native forests. Previously, the town had gone by the names of Slabtown, Rosaville, San Simeon, and Santa Rosa. The corresponding census designated place had a population of 6,032 at the 2010 census, slightly down from 6,232 at the 2000 census.
On the Waterfront is a 1954 American crime drama film, directed by Elia Kazan and written by Budd Schulberg. It stars Marlon Brando and features Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger, Pat Henning and Eva Marie Saint in her film debut. The soundtrack score was composed by Leonard Bernstein. The film was suggested by "Crime on the Waterfront" by Malcolm Johnson, a series of articles published in November–December 1948 in the New York Sun which won the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting, but the screenplay by Budd Schulberg is directly based on his own original story. The film focuses on union violence and corruption amongst longshoremen, while detailing widespread corruption, extortion, and racketeering on the waterfronts of Hoboken, New Jersey.
The Harder They Fall is a 1956 boxing film noir directed by Mark Robson and based on Budd Schulberg's 1947 novel. It marked Humphrey Bogart's final film role. The film was nominated for Best Cinematography, Black and White for Burnett Guffey at the 29th Academy Awards. Joseph Ruttenberg for Somebody Up There Likes Me, however, got the award.
The Wild Party is a 1956 American crime film directed by Harry Horner and written by John McPartland. The film stars Anthony Quinn, Carol Ohmart, Arthur Franz, Jay Robinson, Kathryn Grant, Nehemiah Persoff, and Paul Stewart. The film was released on December 21, 1956 by United Artists.
Reginald McKern, AO, known professionally as Leo McKern, was an Australian actor who appeared in numerous British, Australian and American television programmes and films, and in more than 200 stage roles. Notable roles he portrayed include Clang in Help! (1965), Thomas Cromwell in A Man for All Seasons (1966), Tom Ryan in Ryan's Daughter (1970), Paddy Button in The Blue Lagoon (1980), Dr. Grogan in The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981), Father Imperius in Ladyhawke (1985) and, in the role that made him a household name as an actor, Horace Rumpole, whom he played in Rumpole of the Bailey. He also portrayed Carl Bugenhagen in the first and second installments of The Omen series.
John Richard Basehart was an American actor. He starred as Admiral Harriman Nelson in the television science fiction-drama Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1964–68). He also portrayed Wilton Knight in the series Knight Rider (1982–86).
Sorrell Booke was an American actor who performed on stage, screen, and television. He is best known for his role as corrupt politician Jefferson Davis "Boss" Hogg in the television show The Dukes of Hazzard.
Oliver Burgess Meredith was an American actor, director, producer, and writer. Active for more than six decades, Meredith has been called "a virtuosic actor" and "one of the most accomplished actors of the century". A lifetime member of the Actors Studio by invitation, he won several Emmys, was the first male actor to win the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor twice, and was nominated for two Academy Awards.
An American Tail is a 1986 American animated musical adventure film directed by Don Bluth, the creator of the Dragon's Lair arcade game, and produced by Sullivan Bluth Inc. and Amblin Entertainment. It tells the story of Fievel Mousekewitz and his family as they emigrate from the Imperial Russian territory of Ukraine to the United States for freedom. However, he gets lost and must find a way to reunite with them. It was released on November 21, 1986, to reviews that ranged from positive to mixed and was a box office hit, making it the highest-grossing non-Disney animated film at the time. Its success, along with that of The Land Before Time and Disney's Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and Bluth's departure from their partnership, prompted Steven Spielberg to establish his own animation studio, Amblimation.
Mark Lenard was an American actor, primarily in television. His most famous role was as Sarek, father of the popular character Spock, in the science fiction Star Trek franchise, in both the original and animated series, as well as three films and two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. He also played a Klingon in Star Trek The Motion Picture, and a Romulan in an episode of Star Trek: The Original Series.
James Gregory was an American character actor known for his deep, gravelly voice and playing brash roles such as the McCarthy-like Sen. John Iselin in The Manchurian Candidate (1962), the audacious General Ursus in Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970), and crusty Inspector Frank Luger in the television sitcom Barney Miller (1975–1982).
Jacob "Jack" Kruschen was a Canadian character actor who worked primarily in American film, television and radio. Kruschen was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Dr. Dreyfuss in the 1960 comedy-drama The Apartment.
Fievel's American Tails is an American/Canadian animated television series, produced by Amblimation, Nelvana, and Universal Cartoon Studios. It aired for one season in 1992, and continued Fievel's adventures from the film An American Tail: Fievel Goes West.
Parley Edward Baer was an American actor in radio and later in television and film.
Michael George Ansara was an American stage, screen, and voice actor. He portrayed Cochise in the television series Broken Arrow, Kane in the 1979–1981 series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Commander Kang on three different Star Trek television series, Deputy U.S. Marshal Sam Buckhart on the NBC series Law of the Plainsman, and provided the voice for Mr. Freeze in Batman: The Animated Series and several of its spin-offs.
An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island is a 1998 American animated film produced by Universal Cartoon Studios, directed by Larry Latham and animated overseas by the Japanese studio TMS-Kyokuichi Corporation. Its position in the overall timeline of the franchise is sometime after the first film, as a line of dialogue in the opening retcons the second movie as taking place entirely within one of FIevel's dreams. It is the third film in the An American Tail series, and the first to receive a direct-to-video release. The film premiered in the United Kingdom on November 16, 1998, and was released in the United States on February 15, 2000. Thomas Dekker took over the role of Fievel Mousekewitz from Phillip Glasser, the original actor, who was already 20 years old by then. Four actors from the original film reprised their roles. Tony Toponi returns in this movie as part of the main cast, but ironically as an unmarried adolescent since Bridget couldn't make further appearances due to her voice actress, Cathianne Blore, was in bad health while battling cancer during the production of this film. One actress, Elaine Bilstad, died of heart failure one year after voicing the character, Cholena, which marks this her final character role. The subplots of this film were found "too inappropriate for the franchise", as regarded by Common Sense Media.
An American Tail: The Mystery of the Night Monster is a 1999 American animated film directed and produced by Larry Latham. It is the second direct-to-video follow-up to An American Tail. It is also the fourth and final chapter of the An American Tail series. Thomas Dekker stars as the young Fievel Mousekewitz in a story set before the events of the second film and after third film. Universal released it on July 25, 2000 in the US. Due to concept issues including the thematic material involving the third installment, stricter concept changes were made, such as violent sequences are toned down and the characters from that installment are replaced with more less-diverse ones. Major changes were made for the original characters, such as Tony's romantic concept is removed and Tanya's role is expanded in this movie.
Vito Giusto Scotti was an American character actor who played many roles on Broadway, in films, and later on television, primarily from the late 1930s to the mid 1990s. He was known as a man of a thousand faces for his ability to assume so many divergent roles in more than 200 screen appearances, in a career spanning 50 years. He was known for his resourceful portrayals of various ethnic types. Born of Italian heritage, he was seen playing everything from a Mexican bandit, to a Russian doctor, to a Japanese sailor, to an Indian travel agent.
Patrick John Morrison, better known by his stage name Patrick Wayne, is an American actor, the second son of movie star John Wayne and his first wife, Josephine Alicia Saenz. He made over 40 films, including eleven with his father.
Norman Alden was an American character actor who performed in television programs and motion pictures. He first appeared on television on The 20th Century Fox Hour in 1957. He provided the voice of Kay in The Sword in the Stone (1963), and had a notable role in I Never Promised You a Rose Garden. His acting career began in 1957 and lasted nearly 50 years. He retired from acting in 2006.
The Comancheros is a 1961 Western Deluxe CinemaScope color film directed by Michael Curtiz, based on a 1952 novel of the same name by Paul Wellman, and starring John Wayne and Stuart Whitman. The supporting cast includes Ina Balin, Lee Marvin, Nehemiah Persoff, Bruce Cabot, Jack Elam, Patrick Wayne, and Edgar Buchanan. Also featured are Western-film veterans Bob Steele, Guinn "Big Boy" Williams, and Harry Carey, Jr. in uncredited supporting roles.
David de Keyser is an English actor. He was born in London.
Harry Rhett Townes was an American actor who later became an Episcopalian priest.
Bernard Philip Ofner – better known by his stage name Barney Phillips – was an American film, television, and radio actor. His most prominent roles include that of Sgt. Ed Jacobs on the 1950s Dragnet television series, appearances in the 1960s on The Twilight Zone, in which he played a Venusian living under cover on Earth in "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?", and a supporting role as actor Fletcher Huff in the short-lived 1970s CBS series, The Betty White Show.
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