Nehemiah Persoff - Rotten Tomatoes

Nehemiah Persoff

Highest Rated:   100% The Comancheros (1961)
Lowest Rated:   34% Twins (1988)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Not Available
Trivia buffs and diehard fans of Elia Kazan's On the Waterfront will know that the non-speaking cab driver in the film's famed 'taxicab scene between Marlon Brando and Rod Steiger was noted character actor Nehemiah Persoff. An American resident from age 9, the Jerusalem-born Persoff spent his early adulthood working for the New York subway system. Asked in later years why he chose acting as a profession, Persoff would comment that the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe compelled him to prove himself worthy of his "gift of life." On stage in community and non-professional productions from 1940, he studied with Stella Adler at the Actor's Studio before graduating to Broadway. His first film appearance, in 1948, was in the Manhattan-based The Naked City. After attaining prominence in the mid-1950s, Persoff alternated between villainy and sympathetic roles, utilizing his ear for dialects to depict a wide array of nationalities. He was often cast as a gangster, both serious (Johnny Torrio in the 1959 feature Capone, Jake Guzik on the TV series The Untouchables) and satiric (Little Bonaparte in 1959's Some Like It Hot). His credits in the 1980s included Stalin in the 1980 TV movie FDR: The Last Year, Barbra Streisand's father in Yentl (1983), and the robust voice of Papa Mousekewitz in the 1986 animated feature An American Tail.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Dangerous Days of Kiowa Jones
  • Actor
1994
45% An American Tail - Fievel Goes West
  • Papa
1991
34% Twins
  • Mitchell Traven
1988
82% The Last Temptation of Christ
  • Rabbi
1988
69% An American Tail
  • Papa Mousekewitz
1986
73% Yentl
  • Papa
1983
No Score Yet St. Helens
  • Mr. Ellison
1983
No Score Yet Sadat
  • Actor
1983
No Score Yet O'Hara's Wife
  • Dr. Fischer
1982
No Score Yet The Henderson Monster
  • Actor
1980
No Score Yet The Rebels
  • Actor
1979
No Score Yet In Search of Historic Jesus
  • Herod Antipas
1979
No Score Yet Psychic Killer
  • Actor
1978
No Score Yet Killing Stone
  • Actor
1978
No Score Yet The Word
  • Actor
1978
No Score Yet Deadly Harvest
  • Mort Logan
1977
89% Voyage of the Damned
  • Mr. Hauser
1976
No Score Yet Francis Gary Powers: Story of the U-2 Spy Incident
  • Rudenko
1976
No Score Yet Eric
  • Dr. Duchesnes
1975
No Score Yet Psychic Killer
  • Dr. Gubner
1975
No Score Yet The Stranger Within
  • Actor
1974
No Score Yet Mrs. Pollifax-Spy
  • Berisha
1971
No Score Yet The People Next Door
  • Dr. Salazar
1970
No Score Yet The Girl Who Knew Too Much
  • Lieutenant Crawford
1969
No Score Yet The Power
  • Carl Melniker
1968
No Score Yet Il giorno della civetta (The Day of the Owl)
  • Pizzuco
1968
No Score Yet Panic in the City
  • Best
1968
37% The Greatest Story Ever Told
  • Shemiah
1965
40% Rio Conchos
  • Actor
1964
No Score Yet A Global Affair
  • Under Secretary Segura
1964
No Score Yet The Hook
  • Capt. Van Ryn
1963
100% The Comancheros
  • Graile
1961
No Score Yet Day of the Outlaw
  • Dan
1959
96% Some Like It Hot
  • Little Bonaparte
1959
No Score Yet Al Capone
  • Johnny Torrio
1959
No Score Yet Green Mansions
  • Don Panta
1959
No Score Yet Never Steal Anything Small
  • Pinelli
1959
No Score Yet The Badlanders
  • Vincente
1958
89% Men in War
  • Lewis
1957
91% The Wrong Man
  • Gene Conforti
1956
100% The Harder They Fall
  • Leo
1956
100% Marty
  • Actor
1955
98% On the Waterfront
  • Cab Driver
1954
86% The Naked City
  • Actor
1948

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Law & Order
1990-2010
  • David Steinmetz Tailor
  • 1993
No Score Yet Star Trek: The Next Generation
1987-1994
  • Palor Toff
  • 1990
  • 1988
No Score Yet MacGyver
1985-1992
  • Actor
  • 1989
No Score Yet The Facts of Life
1979-1988
  • Sam
  • 1986
No Score Yet Little House on the Prairie
1974-1984
  • Mr. Olaf Lundstrom
  • 1978
No Score Yet Wonder Woman (1976)
1975-1979
  • Prof. Moreno
  • 1977
No Score Yet The Twilight Zone
1959-1964
  • Carl Lanser
  • 1959

Quotes from Nehemiah Persoff's Characters