Paul Sorvino, probably best-known for his role in Martin Scorsese’s mob drama movie Goodfellas, has passed away aged 83. His career spanned over five decades, beginning in 1970. He is the father of Mira Sorvino, the Oscar-winning actress known for Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion.
Some of Paul Sorvino’s notable roles include 1974’s The Gambler, alongside James Caan, who passed away earlier this month. He also starred in William Friedkin’s Cruising (1980), with Al Pacino. Sorvino also had a role in Warren Beatty’s 1981 epic Reds, and Beatty’s Dick Tracy (1990).
Sorvino also appeared in underrated superhero movie The Rocketeer (1991). He played Henry Kissinger in Oliver Stone’s Nixon (1995) and Juleit’s father Capulet in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet (1996). He had a role in gambling movie The Cooler (2003) alongside William H. Macy. One of Sorvino’s recent roles was in mob crime thriller The Birthday Cake, alongside Ewan McGregor, Val Kilmer, Lorraine Bracco and Jeremy Allen White. He has a number of upcoming projects yet to be released.
Paul Sorvino is the latest in a line of actors best-known for Mafia-related gangster roles to pass away in quick succession – following Ray Liotta (who co-starred with Sorvino in Goodfellas), The Godfather’s James Caan, and The Soprano’s Tony Sirico (who played Paulie Walnuts).
Paul Sorvino had ambitions to be an opera singer and was a good tenor. He appeared in several operas, and won a Tony award for his theatrical work. Sorvino is at the centre of one of Goodfella’s most famous scenes – where he slices garlic with a razor blade so it liquifies in the pan. The amusing twist to this scene is that it takes place in prison – the gangsters don’t go without their fine pasta dishes even when banged up.
For further explorations of the criminal underworld – check out our guide to the best thriller movies.