Goodfellas and The Sopranos star Suzanne Shepherd dies age 89 as fans pay tribute to the popular ‘go-to mother actress’
Suzanne Shepherd has died aged 89, her family confirmed on Saturday night.
She was famed for being a ‘mob actress’ due to her roles in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas as the mum of character Karen Hill and as Carmella Soprano’s mother in The Sopranos.
Suzanne’s granddaughter Isabelle told The US Sun of the actress’ death, but no cause of death was provided and the family did not provide additional details.
Along with Isabelle, Shepherd is survived by her daughter Kate, son-in-law Miles, and daughter-in-law Joyce.
Fans flooded social media with tributes to the star, hailed as one of America’s ‘go-to’ actresses for gangster movies.
Sad: Goodfellas and The Sopranos star Suzanne Shepherd has died aged 89, her family confirmed on Saturday night
Star: She was famed for being a ‘mob actress’ due to her roles in Martin Scorsese ‘s Goodfellas as the mum of character Karen Hill (seen as Karen)
In Goodfellas she had a scene-stealing role as the mum who despaired over Lorraine Bracco’s character getting married to Ray Liotta’s Henry Hill gangster.
In The Sopranos she was again despairing as Mary DeAngelis, the mum of Carmela Soprano, played by actress Edie Falco, who is married to James Gandolfini’s Tony Soprano.
Sopranos actor Ray Abruzzo, 69, was among the stars who took to Instagram to pay tribute to Suzanne.
He said 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.’
He wasn’t alone in paying tribute as fans rushed to acknowledge the sad news this weekend.
One fan wrote on Twitter: ‘Excellent actress who made Goodfellas and The Sopranos so special. Thank you, Suzanne Shepherd. RIP.’
‘She was note perfect in both [Goodfellas and the Sopranos],’ another person said.
Someone else said: ‘She was always great in everything she did.’
Loved ones: Suzanne’s granddaughter Isabelle told The US Sun of the actress’ death, but no cause of death was provided and the family did not provide additional details (seen in 2018 with a friend)
Part: In The Sopranos she starred despairing as Mary DeAngelis (seen right), the mum of Carmela Soprano, played by actress Edie Falco, who is married to James Gandolfini’s Tony Soprano
A fourth tweeted: ‘She’s left us with so many fantastic performances.’
Suzanne’s career spanned more than 35 years, with her first role as Aunt Tweedy in 1988’s ‘Mystic Pizza’ starring Julia Roberts.
Her TV appearances included on Law and Order and Blue Bloods and she played a friend of Ellen Burstyn’s drug-addled mum in Requiem for a Dream, which also starred Jared Leto and Jennifer Connelly.
Her last appearance was in 2023’s The Performance, and she was a renowned theatre director.
An upcoming documentary called A Gift of Fire will also chronicle her career as a leading acting teacher.
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