Paul Sorvino, who starred in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas and early seasons of the NBC series Law & Order, died today of natural causes after suffering health issues over the past few years. He was 83.
His death was announced by his publicist Roger Neal on behalf of Sorvino’s wife Dee Dee Sorvino, who was at his side when he passed.
Hollywood & Media Deaths In 2022: Photo Gallery
“Our hearts are broken,” said Dee Dee Sorvino in a statement. “There will never be another Paul Sorvino, he was the love of my life, and one of the greatest performers to ever grace the screen and stage.”
Sorvino started his career as an advertising copywriter in an ad agency and attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy before making his Broadway debut in the 1964 musical Bajour. Six years later he appeared in his first film, Carl Reiner’s cult classic Where’s Poppa?, starring George Segal and Ruth Gordon, and in 1971 played a supporting role in the critically acclaimed film The Panic in Needle Park, opposite a young Al Pacino in his first lead role in a feature.
Sorvino received critical praise for his performance in Jason Miller’s 1972 Broadway play That Championship Season and was Tony-nominated for his performance. He reprised his role in the 1982 feature film version that also starred Bruce Dern, Stacy Keach, Robert Mitchum and Martin Sheen.
Sorvino also had a standout supporting role in the Best Picture Oscar-nominated film A Touch of Class, also starring Segal, and in 1981 co-starred in his longtime pal Warren Beatty’s film, Reds, the first of three such collaborations between the two.
Sorvino might be best remembered for starring as Paul Cicero aka Big Pauly in the Martin Scorsese’s film Goodfellas.
In 1991, he began a 31-episode stint on NBC’s Law & Order, portraying Det. Philip Cerreta, the partner of Chris Noth’s Det. Mike Logan. The character, after being wounded in the line of duty, was succeeded on the series by Jerry Orbach’s Det. Lennie Briscoe.
Other film credits, to name a few, included The Day of the Dolphin, The Gambler — opposite James Caan, who also died this month — Cruising, Bulworth, Romeo + Juliet, The Cooler and Mambo Italiano. He also played Henry Kissinger in Oliver Stone’s Nixon.
His many TV roles included appearances on Moonlighting, Murder, She Wrote, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Elementary, The Goldbergs and Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders. More recently, he played mobster Frank Costello in Godfather of Harlem for Epix.
‘Fargo’s Noah Hawley On How ‘Goodfellas’ Convinced Him Crime Could Pay, In Storytelling: The Film That Lit My Fuse
In addition to Bajour and That Championship Season, Sorvino’s Broadway credits include performances in Mating Dance (1965), Skyscraper (1965), and An American Millionaire (1974). In 1976, he directed the short-lived Broadway play Wheelbarrow Closers.
Sorvino founded the Paul Sorvino Asthma Foundation, and with wife Dee Dee co-authored the book Pinot, Pasta, and Parties.
Dee Dee and Paul married in 2014 after a chance meeting on the Neil Cavuto show on Fox News Channel Network.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by children Mira, Amanda and Michael and 5 grandchildren.
In an unforgettable Oscar moment from 1996, Mira Sorvino, accepting an award for her performance in Mighty Aphrodite, thanked her father, who broke down in sobs as the TV cameras looked on.
#paulsorvino #goodfellas #joepesci #robertdeniro #rayliotta #martinscorsese #lorrainebracco #henryhill #nicholaspileggi #scorsese #film #michaelballhaus #paulcicero #movie #wiseguys #movies #cinema #tommydevito #samuelljackson #frankvincent #wiseguy #mafia #deniro #debimazar #alpacino #karenhill #goodfellasmovie #mikestarr #thelmaschoonmaker #jimmyconway