Goodfellas star Paul Sorvino dies at 83
Sorvino leaves behind his wife, two daughters, Mira and Amanda, as well as a son, Michael, and five grandchildren. Paul Sorvino (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)
Hollywood star Paul Sorvino, who was well-known for his work on Goodfellas and Law & Order, passed away at the age of 83 on Monday from natural causes.
According to Variety, his wife, DeeDee Sorvino, posted on Instagram, saying “I am completely devastated. The love of my life & the most wonderful man who has ever lived is gone. I am heartbroken.”
The father of actress Mira Sorvino, Sorvino is best known for his work as Sgt. Frank Cerreta on the NBC drama Law & Order, as Mafia boss Pail Cicero in the acclaimed gangster movie Goodfellas, and as Kissinger in Oliver Stone’s Nixon.
“My father, the legendary Paul Sorvino, has passed away,” Mira Sorvino wrote on Twitter. A life of love, laughter, and understanding with him is finished, and my heart is torn to pieces. The best possible father, he was. I really adore him. Dad, while you soar, I’m sending you love from the stars.
Sorvino worked continually, with more than 170 credits and dozens of roles in recent years including guest appearances in Godfather of Harlem, Bad Blood, Undercover Grandpa, The Goldbergs and Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders.
He was one of Lips Manlis’ eclectic cast of extensively costumed antagonists that the director and actor of the highly stylized crime thriller Dick Tracy put together.
In three of Beatty’s five films as a director, Sorvino appeared as the CEO of a sizable insurance business seeking a political favour from the senator played by Beatty. He also appeared in the disastrous Rules Don’t Apply and the Communist history drama Reds.
Paul Anthony Sorvino was born in Brooklyn to Italian Americans. He spoke fluent Italian and originally aimed to become an opera singer. He studied at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York, where he first explored acting; he also studied with acting master Sanford Meisner. In the early ’60s, Sorvino made a living singing at charity balls.
In the 1964 production of the musical Bajour, the actor made his Broadway debut. The next year, he made an appearance in the comedy “Mating Dance”; unsure of whether he wanted to pursue acting further, he took a job as an executive at an advertising agency.
He co-starred in That Championship Season on Broadway in 1974 before taking the lead in Murray Schisgal’s “An American Millionaire” the following year. The Broadway production of “Wheelbarrow Closers,” directed by Sorvino in 1976, had a short run.
In tiny appearances in Where’s Poppa? in 1970 and “The Panic in Needle Park” the following year, Sorvino made his acting debut.
His daughter Amanda Sorvino wrote the script for the independent movie The Trouble With Cali, which he directed in 2012.
The actor established the Sorvino Asthma Foundation and wrote a best-selling book titled How to Become a Former Asthmatic since his severe asthma made it more challenging for him to pursue a singing career.
Sorvino leaves behind his wife, two daughters, Mira and Amanda, as well as a son, Michael, and five grandchildren.