Nehemiah Persoff

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Nehemiah Persoff
Nehemiah Persoff 1960.JPG
Nehemiah Persoff in 1960
Born (1919-08-02) August 2, 1919 (age 99)
Residence Cambria, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active1947–1999
Spouse(s)Thia Persoff (1951–present)
Children4
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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.

Contents

Early life

Born in Jerusalem, Persoff emigrated with his family to the United States in 1929 and graduated from the Hebrew Technical Institute in 1937. [1] 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. [2] [3]

Jerusalem City in the Middle East

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.

United States Army Land warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

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.

Acting career

One of his first notable roles was as the gangster boss "Little Bonaparte", a parody of Benito Mussolini [4] in 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 Mussolini Duce and President of the Council of Ministers of Italy. Leader of the National Fascist Party and subsequent Republican Fascist Party

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 American filmmaker

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.

<i>Some Like It Hot</i> 1959 comedy film directed by Billy Wilder

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.

<i>The Big Valley</i> television program

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.

<i>Alfred Hitchcock Presents</i> American television anthology series

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 painting practice of applying watercolor to a surface

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.

Personal life

He retired from acting in 1999 and devoted full time to his painting. He currently lives with his wife, Thia, in Cambria, California. [5] They have four children.

Cambria, California Census designated place in California, United States

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.

TV and film roles

<i>On the Waterfront</i> 1954 film by Elia Kazan

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.

<i>The Harder They Fall</i> 1956 film by Mark Robson

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.

<i>The Wild Party</i> (1956 film) 1956 film by Harry Horner

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.

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References

  1. https://www.flickr.com/photos/sakraft1/6466940765/
  2. Shadrak, Herbert (March 26, 2010). "Nehemiah Persoff: From Jerusalem to Hollywood – and Beyond". Cinema Retro. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
  3. Staggs, Sam (2005). When Blanche Met Brando: The Scandalous Story of "A Streetcar Named Desire". St. Martin's Press. p. 43. ISBN   9780312321642 . Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  4. Jeffrey Meyers: The Genius and the Goddess: Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe. University of Illinois Press, 2010, ISBN   978-0-252-03544-9, p. 193.
  5. "Nehemiah Persoff retired from screen to canvas". Senior Voice. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  6. DVD Collection