Actor Paul Sorvino, best known for his starring role as Paul Cicero in Goodfellas and the father of Oscar-winning actor Mira Sorvino, has died. He was 83.
His wife, Dee Dee, was by his side in Indiana Monday morning when he passed away from natural causes, reports the new york post.
“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,” she said in a statement.
“My father the great Paul Sorvino has passed,” 54-year-old Mira tweeted Monday.
“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.”
The Post has reached out to reps for Sorvino for comment.
With more than 100 acting credits to his name, Sorvino had a knack for playing gangsters and cops, notably in Martin Scorsese’s 1990 hit Goodfellas and NYPD sergeant Phil Cerreta on Seasons 2 and 3 of Law & Order.
He played an Italian-American communist in Warren Beatty’s ○, mob boss Eddie Valentine in Joe Johnston’s The RocketeerHenry Kissinger in Oliver Stone’s Nixon and Fulgencio Capulet in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet.
Born in Brooklyn in 1939, Sorvino attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York where he fell in love with theatre. He made his Broadway debut in 1964 in Bajour and booked his first movie Where’s Poppa? in 1970.
I have told The Post in 2002 that Martin Luther King Jr., Desmond Tutu and Muhammad Ali were his heroes.
“Self-sacrifice, risking their lives for what they believed in — they are true citizens of Planet Earth,” he said.
For the movie’s 30th anniversary in 2020, Christopher Serrone, who played young Henry Hill at the beginning of Goodfellasawning The Post that Sorvino would sing opera between takes.
Of his career-making role in GoodfellasSorvino once recalled how he felt typecast.
“There are many people who think I’m actually a gangster or a Mafioso, largely because of ‘Goodfellas,’” he once said, according to the hollywoodreporter. “I suppose that’s the price you pay for being effective in a role.”
He had three children from his first marriage to Lorraine Davis, including Oscar-winning actor Mira Sorvino. He also directed and starred in a film written by his daughter Amanda and featuring his son Michael.
Sorvino was also a staunch opponent of disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein, who allegedly was accused of black-listing Mira after she refused his sexual advances.
“If I meet him on the street, he oughta hope that he goes to jail,” Sorvino told TMZ in 2018. “Because if we come across [one another], I think he’ll be lying on the floor somehow, magically. He’s gonna go to jail. That son of a bitch, good for him if he goes, because if not, then he has to meet me, and I’ll kill that motherf**ker.”
He claimed at the time he only learned about the sexual harassment and assault and black-listing allegations against the Shakespeare in Love filmmaker when the public did, stating, “If I had known it, he would not be walking. He’d be in a wheelchair.
“My daughter is a wonderful person,” he said at the time. “Ella A courageous and wonderful human being and ella does n’t deserve to have been treated that way by this pig. This pig will get his comeuppance from her. The law will get him. He’s going to go to jail and die in jail. But if he doesn’t … I’ll just slap him around. I won’t do anything terrible.”
the Mighty Aphrodite star famously thanked her dad in her 1996 Oscar speech, when she won the award for Best Supporting Actor for her performance in the Woody Allen film.
“When you give me this award, you honor my father, Paul Sorvino, who has taught me everything he knows about acting,” she said during her speech, which brought him to happy tears.
As of 2015 New York Times article on the 25th anniversary of Goodfellas noted how Sorvino revealed he was so happy to get the part.
“I’d done a lot of comedies as well as dramas, but I’d never done a really tough guy. I never had it in me,” he said. “And this [part] called for a lethality, which I felt was way beyond me. I called my manager three days before we started shooting and said, ‘Get me out. I’m going to ruin this great man’s picture, and I’m going to ruin myself.’ He, being wise, said, ‘Call me tomorrow, and if necessary I will get you out.’
“Then I was going by the hall mirror to adjust my tie,” he added. “I was just inconsolable. And I looked in the mirror and literally jumped back a foot. I saw a look I’d never seen, something in my eyes that alarmed me. A deadly soulless look in my eyes that scared me and was overwhelmingly threatening. And I looked to the heavens and said, ‘You’ve found it.’”
This article originally appeared in the New York Post and was reproduced with permission.