Entertainment

TNG guest star Nehemiah Persoff dies aged 102

Nehemiah Persoff and Brent Spiner

Outstanding

Nehemiah Persoff and Brent Spiner on the set of The Most Toys.

The oldest living male actor to have appeared in a ‘Star Trek’ series or film has died. Nehemiah Persoff, who played Palor Toff in the Star Trek: The Next Generation season 3 episode “The Most Toys,” died on April 5 at the age of 102, according to reports meeting. Persoff assumed the title of oldest living male “Star Trek” actor after the death of Norman Lloyd in 2021 at the age of 106. Shep Houghton, Dick Cherney, Marsha Hunt and Ivy Bethune. At 104 years old, Hunt is both the oldest living “Trek” actor and the oldest living female “Trek” actress.

Persoff was born in Jerusalem and came to America in 1929. He was credited uncredited in one of his earliest films, A Street Car Named Desire. Persoff played the cabbie in the cab when Marlon Brando delivered his famous “I could have been a contender” speech. Persoff enjoyed a prolific career on stage, films and television, working until the mid-’80s when health concerns prompted him to retire. His many, many projects have included I, Spy, Some Like It Hot, The Twilight Zone, The Untouchables, Gilligan’s Island, Mission: Impossible, Gunsmoke, Voyage of the Damned “. ‘, ‘Logan’s Run’, ‘Battlestar Galactica’, ‘Fantasy Island’, ‘Sadat’, ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’, ‘Twins’, several of the animated ‘An American Tail’ features (as the voice of Papa Mousekewitz ) and his last credit “Angels in America”. Persoff is perhaps best known for playing director and star Barbra Streisand’s father in the film musical Yentl.


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In his only Star Trek appearance, Persoff played a humanoid alien named Palor Toff. A merchant and collector, Persoff not only wore elaborate facial makeup and a colorful costume (a green robe), but also an imaginative band of gold that started on his forehead, wrapped around his head and connected to the side of his nose . Here is the description of Toff from the Memory Alpha site: “In 2366, Kivas Fajo paid a visit to Toff’s house on Lya IV and brought him aboard to see the new centerpiece of his collection, Lieutenant Commander Data, a Soong-type android. However, while Toff was there, Data behaved like an inanimate object, leading Toff to believe Fajo had been tricked. He found it amusing and retired to ‘play’ with Varria, who he thought was more fun than ‘Fajo’s new toy’.”


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After retiring from acting, Persoff spent much of his time painting and then exhibiting and selling his artwork. He also published a memoir titled The Many Faces of Nehemiah in 2021. Persoff was preceded in death by his nearly 70-year-old wife Thia, who died of cancer in 2021.

Shortly after turning 102 last year, Persoff sat down for a Zoom interview with GrowingBolder. When asked if he had lost his wife and if he was thinking about dying, Persoff replied, “Who knows? It’s the end When we are born, we face death. We die all the way from the day we are born. I’m going to… I’m going to die, and that’s okay. It’s good. I’ve had my share. I am happy. I’m happy and could go today. Fine. But I do not want to.”

Accordingly meetinghe is survived by his children Daniel, Jeff, Perry and Dahlia and several grandchildren and nieces and nephews.

https://heavy.com/entertainment/star-trek/oldest-trek-actor-passes-at-102/ TNG guest star Nehemiah Persoff dies aged 102

Brian Ashcraft

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