Nehemiah Persoff


Actor
Nehemiah Persoff

About

Birth Place
Jerusalem, , PS
Born
August 02, 1919

Biography

Nehemiah Persoff is a character actor whose prolific career in film and television spanned 50 years, from the late 1940s to the end of the '90s. Although he has more than 150 TV credits to his name, his most notable work has been in film. A student of the legendary acting coach Stella Adler and a proponent of the famed New York City acting school the Actors Studio, where Adler taught, Pe...

Biography

Nehemiah Persoff is a character actor whose prolific career in film and television spanned 50 years, from the late 1940s to the end of the '90s. Although he has more than 150 TV credits to his name, his most notable work has been in film. A student of the legendary acting coach Stella Adler and a proponent of the famed New York City acting school the Actors Studio, where Adler taught, Persoff's earliest TV roles, from 1949 and through most of the '50s, were primarily theatrical productions, before he gained traction with roles on the big screen. In '54, he had a cameo as the cab driver in the notorious "I coulda been a contender" scene with Marlon Brando in Elia Kazan's "On the Waterfront," and, by '56, he had supporting parts in two major films--as Leo in the Humphrey Bogart-starring film noir "The Harder They Fall" and then as Gene Conforti in Alfred Hitchcock's "The Wrong Man," with Henry Fonda in the lead. In '59, he played the size-appropriate part of Little Bonaparte (Persoff was short and stocky) in Billy Wilder's comedy classic "Some Like It Hot." Among Persoff's numerous TV roles, his most memorable included recurring guest appearances on the crime series "The Untouchables" in the late '50s and early '60s, the Western "Gunsmoke" from the mid-'60s to mid-'70s, and the cop show "Hawaii Five-O" from '68 to '79. A native of Jerusalem, Persoff put his ethnicity to use playing Barbra Streisand's father in the '83 musical-romance "Yentl," and again by voicing the part of Papa Mousekewitz in the successful '86 animated film "An American Tail."

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991)
Voice
Twins (1988)
The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
An American Tail (1986)
Voice
Yentl (1983)
Papa--Reb Mendel
O'Hara's Wife (1982)
The Henderson Monster (1980)
Professor Leo Tedeschi
F.D.R. -- The Last Year (1980)
Josef Stalin
Turnover Smith (1980)
Ashmed Amad
The Thirteenth Day: The Story Of Esther (1979)
Mordecai
In Search of Historic Jesus (1979)
Killing Stone (1978)
Ziegfeld: The Man and His Women (1978)
Francis Gary Powers: The True Story of the U-2 Spy Incident (1976)
Voyage Of The Damned (1976)
Psychic Killer (1975)
Dr Gubner
Eric (1975)
Dr Duchesnes
The Missiles of October (1974)
The Sex Symbol (1974)
The Stranger Within (1974)
Lieutenant Schuster's Wife (1972)
Champagne Joe Carroll
Red Sky at Morning (1971)
Amadeo Montoya
Mrs. Pollifax--Spy (1971)
[Gen.] Berisha
The People Next Door (1970)
Dr. Salazar
Mafia (1969)
Pizzuco
The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1969)
Lieutenant Crawford
The Power (1968)
Carl Melniker
Panic in the City (1968)
August Best
The Money Jungle (1968)
Lieut. Dow Reeves
The People Next Door (1968)
Dangerous Days Of Kiowa Jones (1966)
The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
Shemiah
A Global Affair (1964)
Under Secretary Segura
Fate Is the Hunter (1964)
Ben Sawyer
The Hook (1963)
Captain Van Ryn
The Comancheros (1961)
Graile
The Big Show (1961)
Bruno Everard
Al Capone (1959)
Johnny Torrio
Never Steal Anything Small (1959)
Pinelli
Day of the Outlaw (1959)
Dan
Some Like It Hot (1959)
Little Bonaparte
Green Mansions (1959)
Don Panta
The Badlanders (1958)
Vincente
This Angry Age (1958)
Albert Legros
Street of Sinners (1957)
Leon
The Wrong Man (1957)
Gene Conforti
Men in War (1957)
Sgt. [Nate] Lewis
The Harder They Fall (1956)
Leo
The Wild Party (1956)
Kicks Johnson
On the Waterfront (1954)
Cab driver

Music (Feature Film)

An American Tail (1986)
Song Performer

Cast (Special)

The Big Knife (1988)
Reunion in Vienna (1955)
Strup
Marty (1953)
Marty'S Friend

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Sadat (1983)
Condominium (1980)
The French Atlantic Affair (1979)
The Rebels (1979)
The Word (1978)

Life Events

Videos

Movie Clip

Harder They Fall, The (1957) - I Think He's Ready Opening from The Harder They Fall, 1956, features Toro (Mike Lane) arriving in Manhattan, Rod Steiger and goons in transit and Humphrey Bogart, in his last film, popping out of an apartment in Peter Cooper Village, written and produced by Philip Yordan, from the Budd Schulberg novel.
Harder They Fall, The (1957) - If There's A God In Heaven Crooked promoter Benko (Rod Steiger) puts on a show of concern at the hospital, after his stooge fighter Toro (Mike Lane) has possibly killed an opponent who wasn’t fit to fight, getting advice from Eddie (Humphrey Bogart), the press agent he’s corrupted, in The Harder They Fall, 1956.
Power, The (1968) - He Won't Expose Himself! Nordlund (Michael Rennie), supervisor from the Pentagon, is intrigued because Hallson (Arthur O’Connell) claims that someone on the committee (including Earl Holliman, Richard Carlson, Suzanne Pleshette, Nehemiah Persoff and George Hamilton as Tanner), has the power to take over using mind-control, in The Power, 1968.
Wrong Man, The (1956) - Booked For A Holdup Manny (Henry Fonda) is jailed, as his brother-in-law Gene (Nehemiah Persoff), wife Rose (Vera Miles) and mother (Esther Minciotti) get the news, ending in a famous sequence, from Alfred Hitchcock's The Wrong Man, 1956.
Wild Party, The (1956) - Open, Kicks After credits, Nehemiah Persoff (who'll portray the pianist "Kicks") provides hip narration over genuine L-A night-life footage, from The Wild Party, 1956, starring Anthony Quinn and Carol Ohmart.
Wild Party, The (1956) - Two Strangers Ex-football star "Big Tom" Kupfen (Anthony Quinn) squeezes victim-to-be Erica (Carol Ohmart) while Kicks (Nehemiah Persoff) jams with clarinet stalwart Buddy De Franco and band in The Wild Party, 1956.
Harder They Fall, The (1957) - What Are You Made Of? Press agent Eddie Willis (Humphrey Bogart), now in charge of the tour promoting a bogus boxer (Mike Lane), tangles with the managers of fighters paid to lose, led by Weyerhaeuse (Edward Andrews), Nehemiah Persoff his doubting colleague, montage following, in The Harder They Fall, 1956.
Harder They Fall, The (1957) - Nobody Gets Hurt Crooked promoter Benko (Rod Steiger) tries to sell ex-boxing columnist Eddie (Humphrey Bogart) on being press agent for his incompetent new property Toro (Mike Lane), Carlos Montalban his coach, former heavyweight champ Jersey Joe Walcott sparring, in The Harder They Fall, 1956.
Al Capone (1959) - The Man In Charge South-side under-boss Torrio (Nehemiah Persoff) clashes with north-side thugs (Robert Gist, Murvyn Vye, Lewis Charles), then gets a talking-to from henchman Rod Steiger (title character) in Al Capone, 1959.
Al Capone (1959) - Luck From A Stranger After credits and narration establishing the beginning of Prohibition in 1920, Rod Steiger as the title character meets Torrio (Nehemiah Persoff), a historical figure, then reporter Mac Keely (Martin Balsam), invented for the picture, in Al Capone, 1959, produced by John Houseman.

Trailer

Bibliography