Nehemiah Persoff, an actor and painter who became known around America as one of Hollywood’s busiest actors, has passed away at the age of 102 on Tuesday. Persoff’s death marks the end of an illustrious career that began in the post-war years of the late 1940s.
According to Persoff’s family, the centenarian passed away from heart failure in his home in San Luis Obispo, California.
Persoff was incredibly active over his career and appeared in nearly every major TV show of his era.
Persoff appeared in shows from “Gunsmoke,” “The Twilight Zone,” “Route 66,” “Gilligan’s Island,” “Mission: Impossible,” “Hawaii Five-O,” and “Columbo.”
Persoff’s career continued on into the ’90s, where he had a particularly notable appearance on the show “Law & Order.”
Americans grew to love Persoff’s gruff persona, which made him a particularly good cast to play intimidating gangsters as he did in 1959’s “Al Capone,” where he played the part of Capone’s mentor, Johnny Torrio.
Persoff was eventually forced to decrease his workload and essentially retired from working in film and took up painting. His paintings were well received and now carry extra value to those Americans who grew up watching him on seemingly every classic show.
Persoff will be missed but he leaves behind an extensive legacy both through his acting credits and his family, including his four children.