Remembering Nehemiah Persoff, 1919–2022

Nehemiah Persoff as a corrupt Latin American finance minister, Phillipe Pereda, in the Mission: Impossible episode, ‘The Vault’ (1969).
I read that the wonderful Palestinian-born character actor Nehemiah Persoff passed away this month last year, aged 102. I remember Nehemiah most from the third-season Mission: Impossible episode, ‘The Vault’, which is among the best from the series, but I saw him pop up in other US shows from the 1960s and 1970s and, of course, in Twins.

I wrote to him in the 2010s to say I had long admired his acting. By this time he had retired from the profession and was painting (his work was really good, incidentally; better than certain other celebrity painters that I could name). He very kindly wrote back, and said that his daughter had visited New Zealand. I didn’t think of looking up his age but he would have easily been in his 90s at this point.

I remember him as a really kind man from that limited interaction and I was glad to have corresponded with him.

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