Paul Sorvino, 'GoodFellas' Star and Mira Sorvino's Father, Dies at 83
Legendary "GoodFellas" actor Paul Sorvino has died at 83.
His wife Dee Dee announced he died Monday of natural causes, and his publicist Roger Neal confirmed Sorvino had died at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida.
Along with a storied career, he had the distinction of being the father of Oscar winner Mira Sorvino, whom he defended against Harvey Weinstein in 2018 when he told TMZ he wanted to kill the disgraced former Miramax head for blacklisting her.
Mira Sorvino took to Twitter to express her love for her late dad, writing:
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.
Sorvino was born April 13, 1939, in Brooklyn. He began his career writing copy in the ad industry while studying to become an opera singer. His work took a left turn when he attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, deciding to pursue acting.
Sorvino debuted on Broadway in a musical, 1964's "Bajour," and made his film debut in Carl Reiner's cult-fave black comedy "Where's Poppa?" (1970), starring George Segal and Ruth Gordon.
He received his greatest Broadway acclaim in 1972's "That Championship Season," a role he was able to recreate a decade later on the big screen.
Other noteworthy film performances include "Made for Each Other" (1971), "The Panic in Needle Park" (1971), "A Touch of Class" (1973), "The Day of the Dolphin" (1973), a rape victim in the TV movie "It Couldn't Happen to a Nicer Guy" (1974), "Oh, God!" (1977), and "Reds" (1981).
His signature performance was that of heartless mobster Paul Cicero in Martin Scorsese's 1990 classic "GoodFellas," leading to a string of high-profile roles in the '90s: "Dick Tracy" (1990), "The Rocketeer" (1991), "The Firm" (1993), Henry Kissinger in "Nixon" (1995), and one of his other most famous roles, as the father of Juliet in Baz Luhrmann's "William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet" (1996).
He also stood out playing an addict in 2003's "The Cooler."
Among many TV gigs, including anchoring several series, Sorvino was Det. Cerretta for a season of "Law & Order" (1991-1992) and starred on "That's Life" (2000-2002) with Ellen Burstyn. He was Bruce Willis's David Addison character's dad on "Moonlighting" (1986) and in 1999 revived his "That Championship Season" performance for a TV-movie version of the show.
Sorvino's last major TV role was as Frank Costello on the series "Godfather of Harlem" (2019-2021). His last completed film may be the forthcoming "The Ride" (2023), co-starring his political-pundit wife.
He also directed the 2012 feature film "The Trouble with Cali."
Sorvino is survived by Dee Dee, his third wife, as well as by his three children and five grandchildren.