Paul Sorvino, an actor whose bread and butter was playing gangsters and tough-guy cops, has died. He was 83.
“Our 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,” his wife, Dee Dee Sorvino, said in a statement.
Sorvino’s publicist Roger Neal confirmed that he died Monday morning of natural causes.
Some of Sorvino’s most notable roles included Paulie Cicero in Goodfellas and a New York police sergeant on Law & Order.
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He also made a name for himself playing an Italian-American communist in Warren Beatty’s Reds, Henry Kissinger in Oliver Stone’s Nixon and mob boss Eddie Valentine in The Rocketeer.
Despite his tough exterior and penchant for forceful roles, Sorvino was passionate about poetry, painting and the opera.
Born in Brooklyn in 1939 to a mother who taught piano and father who was a foreman in a robe factory, Sorvino was musically inclined from a young age and attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York where he fell for the theater. He made his Broadway debut in 1964 in Bajour and his film debut in Carl Reiner’s Where’s Poppa? in 1970.
Sorvino had three children from his first marriage, including Academy Award-winning actor #MiraSorvino.
When he learned that his daughter had been among the women allegedly sexually harassed and blacklisted by Harvey Weinstein in the midst of the #MeToo reckoning, he told TMZ that if he had known, Weinstein “would not be walking. He’d be in a wheelchair.”
Despite frequently playing the bad guy, people took to social media Monday to honour the actor and his softer side.
Mira Sorvino thanked her father, Paul Sorvino, in her Oscars acceptance speech, which brought him to tears pic.twitter.com/ebzpTT1IKb
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) July 25, 2022