Sorvino, best known for his roles in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas and Law & Order, died Thursday of natural causes following a long battle with illness. He was 83 years old at the time. Dee Dee Sorvino, Sorvino’s wife, was by his side when he died and confirmed his passing through his publicist Roger Neal.
Dee Dee Sorvino released a statement in which she claimed, “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.” Mira Sorvino, an Oscar-winning actress, hailed from a family that included Sorvino.
Paul Anthony Sorvino was born in Brooklyn, New York, on April 13, 1939. He has been in many movies, including Goodfellas, Nixon, Dick Tracy, The Rocketeer, For the Love of Money, That Championship Season, Reds, A Touch of Class, and Oh, God! Seasons 2 and 3 of Law & Order, as well as That Championship Season, were his most prominent roles on television and on Broadway.
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After working as an ad copywriter in an ad firm, Sorvino joined the American Musical and Dramatic Academy and made his Broadway debut in the 1964 musical Bajour. Carl Reiner’s Where’s Poppa? and Al Pacino’s The Panic in Needle Park were both released in 1971, and six years later he featured in his first film, Carl Reiner’s cult classic Where’s Poppa? starring George Segal and Ruth Gordon.
In 1972, Sorvino gained critical acclaim and a Tony nomination for his role in Jason Miller’s Broadway drama That Championship Season. Bruce Dern, Stacy Keach, Robert Mitchum, and Martin Sheen also starred in the 1982 feature picture version. While working with Warren Beatty on Reds, Sorvino also had a starring role in the Best Supporting Actress Oscar-nominated film A Touch of Class, which was also co-starring Segal.
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.
— Mira Sorvino (@MiraSorvino) July 25, 2022
As Paul Cicero aka Big Pauly in Martin Scorsese’s film Goodfellas, Sorvino is perhaps best known. In 1991, he began a 31-episode run on NBC’s Law & Order as the partner of Chris Noth’s Det. Mike Logan, Det. Philip Cerreta, as Det. Jerry Orbach’s Det. Lennie Briscoe, who had been wounded in the line of duty, replaced the role.
The Day of the Dolphin, The Gambler, Cruising, Bulworth, Romeo + Juliet, The Cooler, and Mambo Italiano are just a few of his other cinematic credits. In Oliver Stone’s Nixon, he played Henry Kissinger. Aside from Moonlighting, he’s appeared in a slew of shows such as Murder, She Wrote, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and shows like Elementary and The Goldbergs.
He most recently appeared in Epix’s Godfather of Harlem as mobster Frank Costello. Along with That Championship Season, Bajour, and Skyscraper, Sorvino appeared on Broadway in Mating Dance (1965), and An American Millionaire (1974). Wheelbarrow Closers, a Broadway play he directed in 1976, had a limited run.
The Paul Sorvino Asthma Foundation was established by Paul Sorvino and his wife, Dee Dee, and their book Pinot, Pasta, and Parties was co-authored together. After meeting by coincidence on the Neil Cavuto show on the Fox News Channel Network, Dee Dee and Paul got married in 2014.
He is survived by his wife and his three children, Mira, Amanda, and Michael, as well as five grandchildren. When Mira Sorvino won an Oscar for her role in Mighty Aphrodite in 1996, she thanked her father, who broke down in tears in front of the television cameras as she did so. Stay tuned with us only on Lee Daily