Nehemiah Persoff

artist artwork
Nehemiah Persoff

Nehemiah Persoff was born in Jerusalem, moving to the United States with his family when he was 10 years old.He began his acting career on the New York stage in “Galileo,” starring Charles Laughton. Then followed “Richard III,” starring Richard Whorf; “Tiger at the Gates,” starring Michael Redgrave; “Peer Gynt,” starring John Garfield; “King Lear,” starring Louis Calhern; “Montserrat,” starring Emlyn Williams; “Peter Pan,” starring Jean Arthur and Boris Karloff; “Colombe,” starring Julie Harris; “Flahooly”; “Reclining Figure,” starring Mike Wallace; “Sundown Beach” and “Camino Real,” both directed by Elia Kazan; and finally “Only in America,” starring Nehemiah Persoff.

While working on Broadway he also appeared in movies and on television.His work on television and film – 45 feature films and over 300 guest starring roles on TV – are documented on the internet at:

In later years, Mr. Persoff appeared on stage in Los Angeles and other points west in leading roles in “Rosebloom” and “The Dybuuk” at the Mark Taper; many productions of “Fiddler on the Roof” as Tevye; “Oliver” as Fagan; “Man of La Mancha” as Don Quixote; “Peter Pan” as Captain Hook; “I’m not Rappaport” in San Francisco; “Cold Storage”; “Death of a Salesman” as Willy Loman at the Shakespeare Festival, Stratford, Ontario; and his one-man show “Sholom Aleichem,” which he performed in many venues in the United States, Canada, and Australia.“Sholom Aleichem” won the Los Angeles Critics Award and the Bay Areas Critics Award for best show and best performance of the 1979 season.

While he had studied drawing and sketching in the 1980s it wasn’t until he moved to the seaside community of Cambria, CA in 1990 that Persoff began to focus on visual art.He developed an interest in watercolors through the encouragement of neighbors and joined a local plein air painting group.By 2000 he was painting more than he was acting.


1995Booth House Gallery, Cambria, A Brush with the Sun, watercolors

2003Seago Gallery by the Sea, Cambria, 14 at 84, paintings

Selected Collections

Mr. David Apfelbaum

Mr. & Mrs. William Hobgood

Mr. & Mrs. George Krevsky

Mrs. Olga Kertesz