Actor Paul Sorvino is dead at age 83, his family has confirmed. “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,” said Sorvino’s wife, Dee Dee, in a statement to the Associated Press. Sorvino appeared in popular works including GoodFellas, Law & Order, and Dick Tracy as well as artistic projects such as The Panic in Needle Park. His publicist, Roger Neal, confirmed his death to be from natural causes.
Sorvino is best known for playing the mob boss Paul Cicero in Martin Scorsese’s GoodFellas, a character based on Paul Vario. “My preparation was all internal,” said Sorvino of the role at the time. “I didn’t have to find a voice, a speech, a walk. I knew all of that instantly. What I didn’t know, and what I wasn’t sure I would find, was that kernel of coldness and absolute hardness that is antithetical to my nature, except when my family is threatened.”
Sorvino proved his words to be true upon learning that the disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein had allegedly sexually harassed and blacklisted his daughter, actress Mira Sorvino. “He’s going to go to jail. Oh yeah. That son of a bitch,” Sorvino told TMZ. “Good for him if he goes, because if not, he has to meet me. And I will kill the motherfucker. Real simple.” The two were close, and Paul was moved to tears when Mira dedicated her first Oscar win to him.
After her father’s passing, Mira said on Twitter, “He was the most wonderful father. I love him so much.”
Outside of acting, Sorvino had a love of poetry and opera. He recited a love poem of his own at the Florida Film Festival that went:
My love is youth, O Speak my heart,
her face is light enshrined.
Her eyes are gems of rarest hue
whose secret flames do shine.
Her brow is like the sculptor’s wish
of Lambert’s swift design.
In marble depths sweet nature lives
O peace, my heart, resign.
He was also an accomplished operatic vocalist and sang occasionally at awards shows. Below, he can be seen singing “Mamma,” by Cesare Andrea Bixio.