Abraham Sofaer

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Abraham Sofaer
Born (1896-10-01)1 October 1896
Rangoon, Burma (now known as Myanmar)
Died 21 January 1988(1988-01-21) (aged 91)
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1921–1974

Abraham Sofaer (October 1, 1896 – January 21, 1988), was a stage actor who became a familiar supporting player in film and on television in his later years. Although often incorrectly listed as Burmese, Sofaer was proudly descended from Baghdad Jews. He was born in Rangoon, then a part of the British Empire. The son of very successful merchants, (see the Sofaer Building, Rangoon), he was educated as a British gentleman and originally worked as a school teacher. Sofaer's strong features and resonant voice complemented the many exotic character parts he played.

He began his acting career on the London stage in 1921, but soon was alternating between London and Broadway. By the 1930s, he was appearing in both British and American films. Among his more prominent performances were the dual role of the Judge and Surgeon in Powell and Pressburger's A Matter of Life and Death (1946) and St. Paul in Quo Vadis (1951).

He also appeared on television from its earliest days in the late 1930s and on radio. Although his film appearances diminished after the 1950s, he continued to have guest roles on dozens of major U.S. television series throughout the 1960s. He made three appearances on Perry Mason including as Sylvester Robey in the 1960 episode "The Case of the Crying Cherub" and his voice was featured in two episodes of Star Trek. Other guest appearances were in Gunsmoke, The Twilight Zone, Daniel Boone, The Time Tunnel, Lost in Space, and The Outer Limits. He may be best remembered for his recurring role as Haji, the master of all genies, on I Dream of Jeannie and as The Swami who advises Peter Tork in the "Sauna" scene in The Monkees' 1968 film Head.

Personal life[edit]

Sofaer married psyche Angela Christian, with whom he had two sons and four daughters. He retired from acting in the mid 1970s.

The noted jurist of the same name is the actor's first cousin, once removed.


Sofaer died at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, as the result of congestive heart failure in 1988.[1]

Partial filmography[edit]

Partial television appearances[edit]


  1. ^ "A. Sofaer, 91; Veteran Film, Stage Actor". Los Angeles Times. January 22, 1988. Archived from the original on 6 July 2017. Retrieved 6 July 2017. 

External links[edit]