Paul Sorvino has died. According to his wife, DeeDee, the 83-year-old succumbed to natural causes yesterday. “Our hearts are broken. There will never be another Paul Sorvino,” she said. “He was the love of my life and one of the greatest performers to ever grace the screen and stage.”
While Paul had a solid career that spanned five decades, he’s probably best known for playing Paulie Cicero in “GoodFellas.” He said that he almost turned it down because he didn’t think he had it in him to play a tough guy. He even called his manager to get him out of it. The manager told him to give it a day before a final decision. He walked by “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.’”
In 1973, Paul received a Tony nomination and a Drama Desk Award for his performance in the original Broadway production of Jason Miller’s “That Championship Season,” which won the Pulitzer Prize for drama. He reprised the role of one of the four former high school basketball players who visited their old coach for the 1982 film, and he played the coach in a 1999 Showtime telefilm where he made his directorial debut.
- Aside from acting, Paul was a respected tenor whose asthma kept him from pursuing a career as an opera singer. But he was able to realize his dream when he performed for the New York Opera at Lincoln Center in 2006.
- In addition to DeeDee, Paul also leaves behind two daughters Amanda and Oscar winner Mira Sorvino, and son Michael, along with five grandchildren. Mira and many others honored him on social media. Check out the tributes below…