An American Tail Wiki

Voiced: Papa Mousekewitz in everything but Fievel's American Tails and An American Tail: A Musical Adventure with Fievel and Friends

Born: August 2, 1919

Died: April 5, 2022

Also Appears In: On the Waterfront, Al Capone, The Twilight Zone, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Yentl


Bio: Nehemiah Persoff was born in Palestine in 1919, moving to America in 1929. Having been active since 1948 he has quite the resume, appearing in dozens of classic films and television programs, including a role in the award-winning On the Waterfront, as a taxi driver while Marlon Brando delivered his famous "I could have been a contender" line. He was chiefly a live-action actor until his failing health forced him to take it easy, and in 1986 he took up the role of Papa Mousekewitz, dabbling in voice acting instead. He was originally chosen to voice Papa because of a similar fatherly role he played in the film Yentl. He's always added a very authentic, fatherly touch to the character; being Jewish himself probably helps as well, being able to get the accent down quite well. He returned to voice Papa Mousekewitz in all four films. In his final years, he has taken up painting as a hobby and is retired from acting.

Persoff died at age 102 on April 5, 2022.