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Paul Sorvino, Actor in ‘Goodfellas’ and ‘That Championship Season,’ Dies at 83
Paul Sorvino, the burly character actor who made a career out of playing forceful types, most notably the coldhearted mobster Paulie Cicero in Martin Scorsese’s GoodFellas, has died. He was 83.
Sorvino, the father of Oscar-winning actress Mira Sorvino (Mighty Aphrodite), died Monday of natural causes, his wife, Dee Dee, announced.
During a solid career that spanned a half-century, Sorvino portrayed James Caan’s bookie in The Gambler (1974), Claire Danes’ pushy father in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet (1996), Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in Oliver Stone’s Nixon (1995) and a strung-out heroin addict in The Cooler (2003).
He played a founder of the American Communist Party in Warren Beatty’s Reds (1981) and worked alongside the actor-director again in Dick Tracy (1990), Bulworth (1998) and Rules Don’t Apply (2016).
A respected tenor who realized a dream when he performed for the New York Opera at Lincoln Center in 2006, the Brooklyn native also starred for a season as Det. Phil Cerretta, the partner of Chris Noth’s Det. Mike Logan, on NBC’s Law & Order.
In 1973, Sorvino received a Tony nomination and a Drama Desk Award for his performance as the unscrupulous Phil Romano — one of the four former high school basketball players who reunite to visit their old coach — in the original Broadway production of Jason Miller’s That Championship Season, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for drama.