(CNN) – Paul Sorvino, an imposing actor whose roles ranged from mob boss on “Goodfellas” to an early stint on the long-running police drama “Law & Order,” has died, according to his publicist Roger Neal. He was 83 years old.
Sorvino died Monday of natural causes with his wife Dee Dee at his side. Dee Dee Sorvino released a statement through Neal, saying in part, “Our hearts are broken, there will never be another Paul Sorvino.”
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Sorvino earned a Tony Award nomination for his role in “That Championship Season” (reprising the role in the film version) and appeared in a long list of films including the role of Henry Kissinger in “Nixon “, “Dick Tracy”, “Reds” and “The Rocketeer”.
Sorvino attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy and considered becoming an opera singer before making her Broadway debut in the mid-1960s. Her first film was the comedy “Where’s Daddy,” followed by “The Panic in Needle Park.” alongside Al Pacino.
Sorvino is perhaps best remembered for director Martin Scorsese’s “Goodfellas” as Paul Cicero, the mobster who even in prison maintained a passion for cooking and fine cooking, slicing garlic into thin slices with a razor blade. (Sorvino and his wife later co-wrote the book “Pinot, Pasta, and Parties.”)
The actor took on a role in “Law & Order” as one of the detectives, but soon left, citing the limited scope of the material.
Sorvino is survived by his wife and three children, including actress Mira Sorvino, and five grandchildren.
Mira Sorvino wrote on Twitter on Monday: “My heart is in pieces: a life of love, joy and wisdom with him is over. He was the most wonderful father. I love him so much. Sending you love in the stars, Dad, as you ascend.”
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