Goodfellas Actress Suzanne Shepherd Passes Away at 89, Leaving a Rich Legacy
Fans of the iconic crime drama film Goodfellas and the hit TV series The Sopranos are mourning the loss of acclaimed actress Suzanne Shepherd. The sad news of her passing at the age of 89 has been confirmed by her family. Known for her memorable performances and captivating presence on screen, Shepherd left an indelible mark on the world of acting.
Shepherd’s most prominent roles included her memorable portrayal of the nurturing mother in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas, where she played Karen Hill’s mother, brilliantly portrayed by Lorraine Bracco. She also took on the role of Mary DeAngelis, the mother of Carmela Soprano, played by Edie Falco, in The Sopranos.
Upon hearing the news, fans flooded social media with heartfelt tributes and expressions of gratitude for the actress. Many referred to her as “the go-to mother actress” for her exceptional talent in bringing maternal characters to life. Sopranos star Ray Abruzzo took to Instagram to pay tribute to Shepherd, describing her as a “force of nature” and an “actress, teacher.”
Shepherd’s career spanned over three decades and included memorable performances in films such as Mystic Pizza, Requiem for a Dream, Uncle Buck, Lolita, and TV shows like Law & Order and Blue Bloods. With every role, she showcased her versatility and ability to captivate audiences.
Not only was Shepherd a gifted actress, but she also excelled in other aspects of the performing arts. She directed numerous plays in theaters across the United States and ran her own acting studio in New York, where she worked as an acting coach. Shepherd studied under renowned acting coach Sanford Meisner and became the first woman to teach his program of acting study.
Her legacy extends beyond her on-screen accomplishments. Shepherd was a founding member of the Compass Players, an improvisational comedy group that included talents like Alan Alda and Alan Arkin, in the early 1960s. She also made an impact as a teacher, and an upcoming documentary called A Gift of Fire will shed light on her impressive teaching career.
Most recently, Shepherd appeared in the 2021 film The Performance, where she portrayed the character Tess. Her talent and dedication to her craft will continue to inspire aspiring actors for generations to come.
Suzanne Shepherd’s passing is a great loss to the entertainment industry, but her legacy lives on through her remarkable body of work. Her talent, passion, and contributions to the world of acting will never be forgotten.
“Infuriatingly humble tv expert. Friendly student. Travel fanatic. Bacon fan. Unable to type with boxing gloves on.”