Mostly Credited As: Nehemiah Persoff Date Of Birth: August 02, 1919 (Age 94) Country Of Birth: Israel Birth Place: Jerusalem, Palestine Mandate Height: 5' 7" (1.7 m)
Short, stocky character actor who specialized in playing ethnic roles both villainous and sympathetic. Immigrated to New York from Israel with his family at a young age and got into acting after working as an electrician on the New York subway system and a stint in the military during World War II. Most famous television role was mobster Jake Guzik on The Untouchables.
Played the cab driver in the famous "I Coulda Been a Contender" scene between Marlon Brando and Rod Steiger in the classic 1954 film On the Waterfront. Resides now in Cambria, CA where he's retired from acting and has taken up painting. Worked as an electrician on the New York City subway system before getting into acting. Played Barbra Streisand's rabbi father in Yentl. During the 1970's, appeared in an award winning one-man stage play Shalom Acheim. Portrayed two real-life mobsters on episodes of The Untouchables--Jake "Greasy Thumb" Guzik and Waxey Gordon. Once stated that he became an actor in order to prove himself worthy of the gift of life.