Arts & Entertainment

‘Goodfellas’ actor Paul Sorvino dead at 83

Washington, Jul 25 (EFE).- American actor Paul Sorvino, best known for his role as a soft-spoken gangster in “Goodfellas”, as well as his work in “Nixon” and early seasons of the NBC television series “Law & Order,” died on Monday. He was 83.

The father of Oscar-winning actress Mira Sorvino passed away in Indiana of natural causes after suffering health issues for several years, his publicist, Roger Neal, confirmed.

Sorvino specialized in playing police officers and criminals, including mafioso Paulie Cicero in Martin Scorsese’s 1990 saga “Goodfellas” and Sgt. Phil Cerretta in “Law & Order.”

Born in the New York City borough of Brooklyn on April 13, 1939, Sorvino first worked as a copywriter in an advertising agency. He made his Broadway debut in the 1964 musical “Bajour” and his big-screen debut six years later in Carl Reiner’s black comedy “Where’s Poppa?”

He also is known for playing the role of former President Richard Nixon’s national security advisor and secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, in Oliver Stone’s 1995 historical drama “Nixon.”

In an obituary Monday in the Washington Post, that paper recalled that Sorvino – an operatically trained tenor and sculptor – used to say that although he was known for portraying gangsters on screen his true passions were poetry, art and the opera.

Sorvino also directed the 2012 drama film “The Trouble with Cali,” a movie written by his daughter Amanda in which he also starred; the 1999 television movie “That Championship Season”; and two episodes of the TV series “That’s Life.”

The online news site Deadline recalled Monday that he founded the Paul Sorvino Asthma Foundation and authored the cookbook “Pinot, Pasta and Parties” with his third wife, Dee Dee Sorvino.

Sorvino fathered three children with his first wife, Lorraine Davis: Mira, Amanda and Michael.

The Washington Post recalled in its obituary that when Mira won the Oscar in 1996 as best supporting actress for her role in Woody Allen’s “Mighty Aphrodite,” the actor said he had no words to express what he felt.

“They don’t exist in any language that I’ve ever heard – well, maybe Italian,” he joked in remarks then to the Los Angeles Times.

The 54-year-old Mira Sorvino said on Twitter after her father’s death: “My father the great Paul Sorvino has passed. My heart is rent asunder – a life of love and joy and wisdom with him is over. He was the most wonderful father. I love him so much. I’m sending you love in the stars Dad as you ascend.” EFE


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