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Paul Sorvino, ‘Goodfellas’ and ‘Law & Order’ star, dies aged 83

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Actor Paul Sorvino, known for streetwise tough boy roles in “Goodfellas” and “Law & Authority,” died of natural causes on Monday morning at the age of 83.

Sorvino’s wife, Emmy-winning actor Dee Dee Sorvino, was by his side at the time of his death, according to Sorvino’s publicist Roger Neal.

“Our hearts are broken, there will never be another Paul Sorvino, he was the love of my life and one of the greatest artists to ever grace the screen and stage,” Dee Dee Sorvino said in a statement from Neal.

Paul Sorvino and his daughter Mira Sorvino attend the 2007 premiere of “Reservation Road” in Toronto. Kathleen Voege / AP file

The Brooklyn-born actor enjoyed more than five decades of film, television and Broadway stage while portraying a range of compelling and dramatic characters.

But Sorvino is perhaps best known for his work in Martin Scorsese’s “Goodfellas,” where he played mobster Paul Cicero. He told AP Radio in 2004 that he was proud of his work in the 1990 film.

“But it’s only a small part of who I am and it completely contradicts my personality,” Sorvino said. “It’s nothing like me as a human being.”

He may be just as well known for his 1991 to 1992 stint on “Law & Order.” Although he was only on the show for one season, Sorvino’s 31 episodes as Sgt. Frank Cerreta forever linked him to the venerable television franchise.

An alumni of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, Sorvino made his Broadway debut in the 1964 musical “Bajour.” He later starred in shows such as “Skyscraper” and “An American Millionaire,” according to Poster.

Throughout his film career, Sorvino delivered dramatic performances in which he played real people. In Warren Beatty’s “Reds,” Sorvino played the Italian-American communist Louis Fraina. In Oliver Stone’s “Nixon,” he played former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, which earned him a Screen Actor’s Guild nomination.

He also appeared in notable films such as Baz Luhrmann’s “Romeo + Juliet” in 1996; the drug drama “The Panic in Needle Park” alongside Al Pacino in 1971; Warren Beatty’s comic strip adaptation “Dick Tracy” in 1990; the Disney superhero adventure “The Rocketeer” in 1991; and the 1993 adaptation of John Grisham’s “The Firm” alongside Tom Cruise.

Sorvino was also a staple in American homes thanks to his television work, not only for “Law & Order,” but also in the 1988 CBS crime drama “The Oldest Rookie” and more recently in Epix’s “The Godfather of Harlem” from 2019 to 2021. .

He leaves behind his wife and three grown children: Mira, Michael and Amanda Sorvino.

Paul Sorvino op "Law & authority."
Paul Sorvino on ‘Law and Order’.Movie Store / Shutterstock

Sorvino has worked with his children on several projects over the years. He acted and directed the 2012 movie “The Trouble With Cali” written by Amanda Sorvino and starring Micheal Sorvino.

Mira Sorvino, herself an Oscar-winning actor, starred with Sorvino in the 2020 movie “Most Guys Are Losers”.

She was one of the many women in Hollywood who… emerged in 2017 to publicly accuse former producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct.

When asked about his daughter’s experience with Weinstein by TMZ in 2018, Sorvino told the Weinstein outlet, “I have to hope he goes to jail.”

“Because if we run into each other, I think he would be on the floor,” he said at the time.

Weinstein has since been convicted of rape and sentenced to 23 years in prison.

When she thanked her father at the Academy Awards in her speech after she won Best Supporting Actress for 1995’s “Mighty Aphrodite,” Mira Sorvino said he “taught me everything I know about acting.”

In a clip of the speech shared on social media after his death, Sorvino appeared to be shaking with emotion during his daughter’s statement.

Mira Sorvino tweeted a statement on her father’s death on Monday, as well as: post a black square on her Instagram account.

“My heart is torn – a life of love and joy and wisdom with him is over,” she said. “He was the most wonderful father. I love him so much. I’ll send your love in the stars, Daddy as you take off.’


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