The film industry has lost another legend. Prolific actor Paul Sorvino passed away at the age of 83.
Sorvino‘s wife Dee Dee released a statement regarding his death, saying, “[o]ur hearts are broken, 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 is perhaps best known for his role as Cicero, the amateur chef and mob boss in the Martin Scorsese masterpiece GoodFellas, which followed the turbulent life of mobster Henry Hill. Sorvino‘s acting career spanned over five decades. He won a Tony in 1973 for his role in the play That Championship Season. His film roles were wide-ranging, playing Juliet’s father in Baz Luhrmann‘s 1996 rendition of Romeo + Juliet, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in Oliver Stone’s 1995 film Nixon, as well as a heroin addict in 2003’s The Cooler. But Sorvino‘s career didn’t stop at just film and stage work. He also enjoyed a very successful career in television. He starred for one season as Detective Phil Cerretta, in NBC‘s series Law & Order. In the series, he played the partner to Detective Mike Logan, played by Chris Noth.
Paul Sorvino was born on April 13, 1939, in Brooklyn, New York. His father was an Italian immigrant. He spent his teenage years singing in Catskills hotels and dreamed of being an Opera singer before moving to work as an actor on the stage. Sorvino suffered from asthma, which he learned to control through breathing exercises. He also founded the Sorvino Children’s Asthma Foundation.
Beyond his own accomplishments, it’s fair to say that he shared pride in the accomplishments of his daughter Mira Sorvino, who won an Oscar for her role in the Woody Allen film Mighty Aphrodite. Sorvino was seen crying with joy as he watched his daughter achieve perhaps the ultimate honor in the world of acting.
Sadly, he is, however, not the only member of the Goodfellas cast to pass away recently. Ray Liotta, who played Hill passed away in May while filming a movie in the Dominican Republic. And Tony Sirico, who also played Tony Stacks in GoodFellas and Paulie Walnuts in the HBO series The Sopranos passed away on July 8th of this year.
Paul Sorvino is survived by his wife, Dee Dee, and children Mira, Amanda, and Michael. He is also survived by five grandchildren.
With his long and varied career in the entertainment industry, his legacy will not soon be forgotten. Our condolences go out to his family at this difficult time.