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Thread: Nehemiah Persoff has passed away, age 102

  1. #1
    Five-O Home Page Author Mr. Mike's Avatar
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    Mar 2019
    Vancouver, B.C.


    I found an e-mail that I had from him in 1998 where, at the request of someone, I made him dubs of episodes that he appeared in (this was before DVDs):

    Dear Mr. Quigley,

    Thank you so much for the six episodes of Hawaii Five-o. I loved doing that
    show and it made me sick that I did not have even one copy of any of the
    shows I had done there. I will have to go back to check my records , I
    thought I had done more than six shows....there was one I thought was
    called The Ten Thousand Dollar Nickel. Will check when I have more time.

    Jack had a guest book that he asked every guest star to sign. think this is
    an item that you would be interested in. I don't know if Jack's wife is
    still alive, if she is she might have it. It's a treasure of how Jack's
    coworkers felt about him. I myself was very fond of him, he was a serious
    actor caught in a very successful series that made many demands on him but
    it did not call on all of his acting ability. That's a dilemma isn't it?

    I congratulate you on all of the work you have done to keep this series
    alive' Again my sincere thanks----------


    I just found this interview with Persoff on YouTube which was posted there (and maybe also made) earlier this year:

    Last edited by Mr. Mike; 04-06-2022 at 12:31 PM.

  2. #2
    It’s amazing how lucid and clear he was at such an old age.

    RIP to the ultimate character actor.

  3. #3
    Mr. Mike
    Thanks for starting the remembrance here for Nehemiah Persoff who passed at 102 years of age. What an incredible longevity and incredible acting career. I enjoyed all of his Classic Hawaii Five O appearances. Season 11 his appearance in Number One With A Bullet. That was 1 of my FAV. I thought the story with Johnny Monroe and Yvonne trying to get the record contract and the mob war between the 2 groups was a very good one. He really shined in Will The Real Mr. Winkler episode as a man trapped in an impossible situation. I loved the scene when he showed his intelligence skills detailing what was on McGarrett's desk. He was in Deathwatch maybe that's his earliest appearance. Sorry to see he has passed. I know the Classic HFO regulars here at the forum probably will also remember his episodes. Condolences to his family, friends, and actor friends. A long life and 1 worth mentioning and remembering.

  4. #4
    I agree, my favorite performance of his was also “Number One With a Bullet”. The scene where McGarrett talks about his father’s death while paying a visit to mobster Allie Francis was an instant classic, and one of my favorite moments of the entire series. “Everybody dies, McGarrett“.

    RIP Mr. Persoff.

  5. #5
    Without a doubt his Harry Cardonus in “Deathwatch” is his greatest performance! My second favorite would be his tormented spy master role in “Will the Real Mr. Winkler Please Die?” but he was great in all his appearances on the show.

  6. #6
    Harry Cardonus was definitely my next-favorite performance of his, after Allie Francis. He and Jack Lord always played well off each other.

  7. #7
    Five-O Home Page Author Mr. Mike's Avatar
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    Mar 2019
    Vancouver, B.C.
    I ordered Persoff's book, which he published last year at the age of 101, and Amazon got it to me fast. It is only 183 pages long, consisting of 47 short chapters. From a quick scan of the text, it looks like there is nothing specific about his appearances on H50, though there is a picture from Number One With A Bullet -- were JL, Persoff and James Darren ever together in a shot like this?

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  8. #8
    I always enjoyed Nehemiah Persoff's appearances on H5O. I've also stopped and watched him in other shows where he appears - he's just fun to watch. If you guys get a chance, check out his guest appearance on Magnum, P.I. I think the episode is "Torah, Torah, Torah!" He was excellent as always!

    I don't know which guest appearance I like him best. It's a toss-up between Mr. Winkler and Allie Francis. He showed great range in both appearances. Another guest appearance I like is as the other mobster who shows up in the middle of a turf war but it runs out his nephew is gunning for him. The guy only went to Hawaii to visit his daughter! Instead, he changes the contract and is arrested for murder. Oops!

    As far as the photo Mr. Mike, I don't think there was a scene with these three together. The closest would have been when Allie Francis visited Sonny's disco with James Darren's character in Part 2 of Number One With A Bullet. (I heard the term on the radio and about freaked out!) I guess the title is popular for songs.

    RIP Mr. Persoff.

  9. #9
    I didn't realize that Mike had sent videos to Persoff back in '98. Pretty cool. I used to trade videos with Mike back in 1995 and 1996, back when I was 23-24 and just getting to watch all of Five-O's episodes as if they were new.

    102 is a great age to live. In fact, he was only 4 months away from 103. From the video ringfire posted, it's clear that, at least 7 years ago, he hadn't lost any steps mentally.

    Persoff was only 49 when Five-O started. That shows we are getting close to losing every single adult actor who played in Five-O, as well as every crew member. We're not there yet, but within a few decades, nobody will be alive who was part of the show, aside from a few kids with bit parts. Pretty depressing.

    Is Sharon Farrell the only one left of the main cast members? I think so.

  10. #10
    Originally Posted by Todd View Post
    Is Sharon Farrell the only one left of the main cast members? I think so.
    Yes, she is the last regular of the series still alive.

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