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Suzanne Shepherd of ‘Goodfellas’ and ‘The Sopranos’ fame dies at 89

Actress Suzanne Shepherd attends the premiere of "A Dirty Shame" on Sept. 21, 2004, in New York City. (Peter Kramer/Getty Images/TNS)

Suzanne Shepherd, the actor who notably appeared in “Goodfellas” and “The Sopranos,” died Friday at her home in New York City, a representative for the actor confirmed to The Times. She was 89.

No cause of death has been made public as of yet.

In 1990, Shepherd played the mother of Lorraine Bracco’s Karen Hill in Martin Scorsese’s mob crime drama “Goodfellas.” She also portrayed the recurring character of Carmela Soprano’s mother Mary DeAngelis in the HBO drama “The Sopranos.”

Shepherd was born Suzanne Stern on Oct. 31, 1934. After graduating from Bennington College, she studied under the renowned acting teacher Sanford Meisner. She made her onscreen debut in the Julia Roberts-led romantic comedy “Mystic Pizza” in 1988. Shepherd then had small roles in 1988’s “Working Girl,” alongside Melanie Griffith and Harrison Ford, and in 1989’s comedy film “Uncle Buck.” After appearing in “Goodfellas,” she was featured in “Jacob’s Ladder,” Adrian Lyne’s 1997 remake of “Lolita” and Darren Aronofsky’s psychological thriller “Requiem for a Dream.”

Besides “The Sopranos,” Shepherd appeared on television in several episodes of the “Law & Order” universe and most recently she was on the CBS police drama series “Blue Bloods.”

On top of her acting career, Shepherd served as an acting instructor for over four decades, having taught at Trinity Square Conservatory, Hartman Conservatory, the Berghof Studio and her own studio in New York City. Some of Shepherd’s former students include “Law & Order” actor Christopher Meloni, Tony-winning actor Joan Allen and two-time Emmy winner Bebe Neuwirth.

Additionally, Shepherd directed performances around the globe, including at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre, L.A.’s Ensemble Studio Theatre and the Market Theatre in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Shepherd is survived by her daughter Kate Shepherd, son-in-law Miles McManus and granddaughter Isabelle Shepherd.


© 2023 Los Angeles Times

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