Paul Sorvino, an imposing actor who specializes in playing crooks and cops like Paulie Cicero Goodfellas and NYPD Sergeant Phil Cerretta law & order, died. He was 83.
His publicist Roger Neal said he died of natural causes in Indiana on Monday morning.
“Our hearts are broken, there will never be another Paul Sorvino,” his wife Dee Dee Sorvino said in a statement. “He was the love of my life and one of the greatest performers to ever walk the screen and stage.”
With over 50 years in the entertainment business, Sorvino has been a mainstay in film and television, playing an Italian-American communist in Warren Beatty’s RedHenry Kissinger in Oliver Stones nixon and crime boss Eddie Valentine walk in The rocket man. He often said that while he is best known for playing gangsters, his real passions are poetry, painting and opera.
Sorvino was born in Brooklyn in 1939, the son of a piano teacher and a robe factory foreman. Sorvino was interested in music from a young age and attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York, where he devoted himself to theater. In 1964 he made his Broadway debut bajour and his film debut in Carl Reiners Where is Dad? 1970
With his imposing physique, Sorvino left an impressive presence regardless of the medium. In the 1970s he starred alongside Al Pacino in The panic in Needle Park and with James Caan there The playerreteamed with Reiner in Oh God! and was part of the cast in William Friedkin’s bank robbery comedy The Brink job.
In John G. Avildsens Rocky follow up Slow dancing in the big citySorvino needed to play a romantic lead and took advantage of his
Dance training with professional ballerina Anne Ditchburn.
Sorvino was particularly prolific in the 1990s, kicking off the decade with Lips in Beatty’s Dick Tracy and Paul Cicero in Martin Scorsese Goodfellasbased on real-life gangster Paul Vario and 31 episodes on Dick Wolf law & order. He followed those with roles in The Rocketeer, the company, Nixon, which earned him a Screen Actors Guild Award and Baz Luhrmann nomination Romeo + Juliet as Juliet’s father Fulgencio Capulet.
Beatty often turned to Sorvino and rehired him for his political satire Bulworthwhich came out in 1998, and his
Hollywood love letter 2016 Rules don’t apply. He also appeared in James Gray’s The Immigrant.
Sorvino had three children from his first marriage, including Academy Award-winning actress Mira Sorvino. Upon learning that amid the #MeToo billing, his daughter had been among the women allegedly sexually harassed and blacklisted by Harvey Weinstein, he told TMZ that if Weinstein had known, he “wouldn’t go.” would. He would be in a wheelchair.”
He was proud of his daughter and cried when she won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress Mighty Aphrodite in 1996. He told the Los Angeles Times That Evening that he didn’t have the words to express how he felt.
“They don’t exist in any language I’ve ever heard — well, maybe Italian,” he said.