Terrible year for amazing actors from mob movies: Ray Liotta, James Caan, Tony Sirico and now Paul Sorvino.
Sorvino, who went from comic roles to the performance of a lifetime in Martin Scorsese's GoodFellas, died of natural causes on July 25 in Florida at 83.
His third wife, Dee Dee — Republican operative and TV commentator and actress — confirmed his death, writing on Instagram:
"I am completely devastated The love of my life & the most wonderful man who has ever lived is gone . I am heartbroken."
Along with a storied career, Sorvino had the distinction of being the dad 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."
Who can forget Sorvino weeping as Mira won her Oscar?
Born on April 13, 1939, in Brooklyn, Sorvino began his career writing ad copy. While studying to become an opera singer and attending the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, he decided to focus on acting.
Sorvino debuted on Broadway in a musical, 1964's Bajour, and made his film debut in Carl Reiner's comic Where's Poppa? (1970), starring Ruth Gordon and George Segal.
He would receive his greatest Broadway acclaim in 1972's That Championship Season, a role he was able to recreate a decade later on the big screen and in 1999 for a TV movie.
Just a few of his noteworthy movie 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 male 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 also Bruce Willis's David Addison character's dad on an episode of Moonlighting (1986).
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.