"It is easier to build a strong child than to repair a broken man." - Frederick Douglass

‘Goodfellas’ Actor Paul Sorvino Dies at Age 83

Courtesy of NEPA Scene (Flickr CC0)

Paul Sorvino, who played Paulie Cicero in Martin Scorsese’s 1990s film “Goodfellas,” has passed away at the age of 83. His wife Dee Dee announced that her beloved husband died of natural causes on Monday.

On April 13, 1939, Paul Anthony Sorvino was born in Brooklyn, New York. His father, Fortunato “Ford,” was an Italian immigrant who worked as a foreman in a robe factory. The actor’s Italian-descended mother, Marietta “Angela,” was a piano teacher.

Courtesy of David Shankbone(Flickr CC0)

Originally he wanted to be an opera singer. However, while studying at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York, he was exposed to the dramatic arts. After his schooling, he continued his studies with Sanford Meisner.

Sorvino made his film debut in “Where’s Poppa” in 1970. He can also be seen in the Broadway play “That Championship Season,” which later became a film where he reprised his role starring alongside Martin Sheen and Robert Mitchum.

Some other films he can be seen in are “Cruising,” “I, The Jury,” “Dick Tracy,” “Nixon,” “Romeo and Juliet,” and “The Cooler.” He also appeared in many TV shows like “Law & Order” and several theatrical productions.

On July 23, 1966, Sorvino married Lorraine Davis. They were married for 22 years and had three children — actress Mira, Michael, and Amanda — before they divorced in 1988.

Sorvino married his second wife, Vanessa Arico, on March 20, 1991. Five years later they divorced. On Dec. 27, 2014, he married his widow Dee Dee.

The actor suffered from severe asthma. He was able to master various breathing techniques to help him manage his illness.  On top of being a well-known actor, he was also the author of “How to Become a Former Asthmatic.” In 1993, he founded the Sorvino Asthma Foundation, which provides public education about the illness and aims to create a network of asthma centers across the U.S.

He is survived by his wife, children, five grandchildren, family, and friends. May he rest in peace.

Written by Sheena Robertson


IMDb: Paul Sorvino
The Hollywood Reporter: Paul Sorvino, Actor in ‘Goodfellas’ and ‘That Championship Season,’ Dies at 83
Ability Magazine: Paul Sorvino interview by Gillian Friedman, MD

Top and Featured Image Courtesy of NEPA Scene‘s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of David Shankbone‘s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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