Paul Sorvino, the actor known for playing mobster Paulie Cicero in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas, has died aged 83.
His wife, DeeDee Sorvino, announced the news on Instagram, writing: “I am completely devastated. The love of my life and the most wonderful man who has ever lived is gone. I am heartbroken.”
The actor died from natural causes, according to his representatives (via Variety).
Aside from Goodfellas, Sorvino was known for playing Sergeant Frank Cerreta on NBC’s Law & Order. He also made memorable appearances as Fulgencio Capulet in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet and Henry Kissinger in Oliver Stone’s Nixon.
Sorvino is survived by three children from his first marriage with Lorraine Davis: Mira, Michael, and Amanda. Mira Sorvino won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite (1995).
In 2018, Sorvino threatened to kill disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein after Mira accused him of sexual harassment.
“He’s going to go to jail. Oh yeah. That son of a b****. Good for him if he goes, because if not, he has to meet me. And I will kill the motherf***er. Real simple,” Sorvino told TMZ at the time.
At 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds, Sorvino was known for his imposing roles on either side of the law.
However, in a 2014 interview, Sorvino said: “Most people think I’m either a gangster or a cop or something, but the reality is I’m a sculptor, a painter, a best-selling author, many, many things – a poet, an opera singer, but none of them is gangster, but, you know, obviously I sort of have a knack for playing these things.
“It’s almost my later goal in life to disabuse people of the notion that I’m a slow-moving, heavy-lidded thug, and most people’s impression of me is that – because of the success of Goodfellas and a few other things, but they forget that I was also Dr. Kissinger in Nixon, the deaf lawyer in Dummy, and they forget a lot of things that I’ve done. It would be nice to have my legacy more than that of just tough guy.”
Earlier this month, another of Sorvino’s co-stars, James Caan, died from a heart attack aged 82. The pair co-starred in the 1974 crime movie, The Gambler, which saw Caan nominated for a Golden Globe.