Paul Sorvino, an imposing actor who specialized in playing crooks and cops like Paulie Cicero in “Goodfellas” and the NYPD sergeant Phil Cerreta on “Law & Order,” has died. He was 83.
His publicist Roger Neal said he died Monday morning of natural causes at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. Sorvino had dealt with health issues over the past few years.
Mira Sorvino, his daughter, wrote a tribute on Twitter: “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.”
“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,” his wife, Dee Dee Sorvino, said in a statement. She was by his side when he died.
In his over 50 years in the entertainment business, Sorvino was a mainstay in films and television, playing an Italian American communist in Warren Beatty’s “Reds,” Henry Kissinger in Oliver Stone’s “Nixon” and mob boss Eddie Valentine in “The Rocketeer.” He would often say that while he might be best known for playing gangsters, his real passions were poetry, painting and opera.