Beloved ‘go-to mother actress’ who starred in ‘Goodfellas’ and ‘The Sopranos’ dies

Beloved Mob actress Suzanne Shepherd has died at the age of 89.

Shepherd was famous for her roles in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas and the hit drama series The Sopranos.

Actress Suzanne Shepherd (left) dies at 89Credit: Getty
Shepherd famously played Carmela Soprano’s mother on The SopranosCredit: Max

Shepherd’s granddaughter Isabelle confirmed his death to The US Sun.

The cause of death was not released, and the family did not provide additional details.

Along with Isabel, Shepherd is survived by his daughter Kate, son-in-law Miles and daughter-in-law Joyce.

Online fans praised the 89-year-old actress as an “essential” actress playing maternal roles in the entertainment industry.

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“I didn’t know this,” one fan said of his death to post On X, formerly on Twitter.

“She really was the ‘mom’s go-to’ actress.”

The 89-year-old played the mother of Karen Hill, the character played by Lorraine Bracco, in Goodfellas.

In The Sopranos, she famously played Mary DeAngelis, the mother of Carmela Soprano, played by actress Edie Falco.

Fellow Sopranos actor Ray Abruzzo took to Instagram to issue a touching statement about Shepherd’s death.

“Sad to hear of Suzanne Shepherd’s passing,” Abruzzo wrote.

“Force of Nature. Actress, teacher. Played Carmela’s mom on The Sopranos and Karen’s mom on Goodfellas.”

Shepherd’s career spanned more than 35 years, with her first role being Aunt Tweedy in 1988’s Mystic Pizza.

He also guest starred on Law & Order and Blue Bloods and had a supporting role in 2000’s Requiem for a Dream, starring Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly and Marlon Wayans.

Shepherd’s other recognized performances came from her roles in 1989’s Uncle Buck and 1997’s Lolita.

Her latest appearance was as the character Tess in 2023’s The Performance.

According to SNBC13, the 89-year-old also directed several prestigious theaters in the United States and abroad in South Africa.

Shepherd was also an acting coach who devoted more than four decades of lessons to actors at his studio in New York City.

He reportedly learned from industry stalwarts such as Sanford Meisner, Herbert Berghof, and Larry Eric.

The beloved actress also held faculty positions at the Herbert Berghof Studio, Hartman Conservatory, and Trinity Square Conservatory.

An upcoming documentary titled A Gift of Fire will also detail his career as an acting teacher.

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