Renowned actress Suzanne Shepherd, celebrated for her memorable roles in cinematic classics such as “Goodfellas” and the iconic TV series “The Sopranos,” has passed away at the age of 89. The news of her death was confirmed by her granddaughter to the US Sun, though the cause of death remains undisclosed, and no official statement has been issued.
In Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece “Goodfellas” (1990), Shepherd portrayed the mother of Karen Hill, played by Lorraine Bracco. The film, featuring a stellar cast including Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, and Joe Pesci, solidified Shepherd’s presence in the world of cinema. Additionally, she graced the small screen as Mary DeAngelis in HBO’s hit series “The Sopranos” from 2000 to 2007, portraying the mother of Carmela Soprano, portrayed by Edie Falco. Shepherd joined the show in its second season, contributing to its continued success.
BREAKING:⚱️ One of the 27 actors who appeared in both ‘Goodfellas’ and ‘The Sopranos’ has sadly passed away.
As the mother of the mobster wife, Suzanne Shepherd suited the role perfectly. She played the overbearing Mom of Karen in ‘Goodfellas’ and Carmela in ‘The Sopranos’. More… pic.twitter.com/HZmNEivOqh
— The Sopranos Club (@TheSopranosClub) November 18, 2023
Her extensive filmography includes notable contributions to films like “Mystic Pizza” (1988), “Uncle Buck” (1989), and “Requiem for a Dream” (2000), showcasing her versatility over a career spanning more than 35 years. Beyond her on-screen accomplishments, Shepherd excelled as a leading theatre director and drama teacher. An upcoming documentary titled “A Gift Of Fire” is set to delve into her impactful work as an influential teacher.
Shepherd continued to make her mark on television with appearances in shows like “Law and Order” and “Blue Bloods.” Her final television appearance was in the 2023 production of “The Performance.”
The news of Shepherd’s passing prompted an outpouring of tributes on social media. Ray Abruzzo, who played Little Carmine Lupertazzi on “The Sopranos,” took to Instagram to express his sorrow, saying, “Sad to hear of the passing of Suzanne Shepherd. A force of nature. Actress, teacher. Played Carmella’s mother on Sopranos and Karen’s mother in Goodfellas.”
As fans and the entertainment industry mourn the loss of a talented actress, Shepherd’s legacy lives on through her impactful contributions to film, television, and the lives of those she inspired through her teaching. Her indelible mark on the world of acting and drama will continue to resonate for generations to come.