Paul Sorvino, Actor in ‘Goodfellas’ and ‘Law & Order’ Dies at 83

David Shankbone

Recently, Ray Liotta and Tony Sirico, who both acted in the movie “Goodfellas,” passed away. Liotta died in his sleep. He was only 67 years old. Sirico’s family did not release a cause of death, but he was diagnosed with dementia several years before his death, and he died in an assisted living facility.

Now, another “Goodfellas” actor has passed away. Paul Sorvino, who played mobster Paulie Cicero, has passed away at the age of 83. His family says that he died of natural causes.

Sorvino’s wife, Dee Dee, announced her late husband’s death. She explained, “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.”

Meanwhile, Sorvino’s daughter, actress Mira Sorvino, also announced the news on Twitter, 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.”

Paul Sorvino was first and foremost a committed family man. One of the most touching memories will surely be this moment from the Academy Awards:

Several of Sorvino’s past co-stars commented on Mira’s tweet expressing their sympathy. Rob Reiner wrote, “Mira, so sorry for your loss. Sending my love.”

Ralph Macchio wrote, “So very sorry, Mira. I was privileged getting to work with and know Dad a bit. Much love to you and your family.”

While Sorvino may be best known for his role as mobster Paulie Cicero, he had many other acting roles on stage and screen. In fact, he was in almost 50 movies including “Reds,” “I, The Jury,” “Chiller,” “Dick Tracy,” “The Rocketeer,” “Backstreet Justice,” “Nixon,” “Romeo + Juliet,” “That Championship Season,” “The Thin Blue Line,” and “The Cooler” just to name a few. He also had roles on TV series including “Law & Order,” “Wives’ Tales,” and “Still Standing.”

On stage, he won a Drama Desk Award and was nominated for a Tony award for his role in the Broadway play “That Championship Season.”

There was a moment when Sorvino actually called his manager and asked him to get him out of playing Cicero in “Goodfellas.” He didn’t think he had it in him to play the character. In 2015, he told The New York Times, “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 continued, “Then I was going by the hall mirror to adjust my tie. 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.’”

Does it surprise you that Sorvino considered turning down the role of Paulie Cicero?