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Paul Sorvino, Master of the Mild-Mannered Mobster, Dies at 83.

Paul Sorvino, Master of the Mild-Mannered Mobster, Dies at 83.

The tough guy actor, operatic tenor, and figurative artist Paul Sorvino passed away on Monday. He was most known for playing calm, respectful, and deadly guys in movies like "Goodfellas" and on television episodes like "Law & Order." He was 83.

Roger Neal, his spokesman, reported his passing at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. Mr. Neal stated that Mr. Sorvino "had suffered with health concerns over the previous few years" but no specific explanation was offered.

Mira Sorvino, who earned an Oscar for best-supporting actress for Woody Allen's "Mighty Aphrodite," was born to Mr. Sorvino (1995). She said that her father had "taught me all I know about acting" in her victory speech.

When Martin Scorsese's celebrated Mafia epic "Goodfellas" (1990) arrived, Mr. Sorvino was 50 and far into his cinematic career. Paulie Cicero, the mob leader he portrayed, was ponderous, soft-spoken, and icy.

Henry Hill, played by Ray Liotta, Paulie's neighborhood mentee, quips in the movie, "Paulie might have walked slowly, but it was only because he didn't have to move for anybody. (Mr. Liotta, 67, passed away in May.)

In "That Championship Season," Jason Miller's Pulitzer Prize-winning tragicomedy about the depressing reunion of high school basketball stars whose glory days are decades passed, he established himself onstage as a completely different but perhaps equally heartless figure. Mr. Sorvino played Phil Romano, a small-town strip-mining magnate arrogantly having an affair with the mayor's wife, in the original Broadway production.

He recalled that it wasn't until one day, when he was straightening his necktie, that he noticed something in his own eyes. In 2019, Mr. Sorvino told The Lowcountry Weekly, a South Carolina website, "I knew at that moment I had embraced my inner mafia leader." He described it as "that fatal Paulie look."

The youngest of Ford Sorvino's three kids, Paul Anthony Sorvino was born on April 13, 1939, in Brooklyn. His parents were Marietta (Renzi) Sorvino, a piano teacher and housewife, and Fortunato Sorvino. The senior Mr. Sorvino, a supervisor at a robe manufacturer, was born in Naples, Italy, and immigrated to New York in 1907.

Acting employment was hard to come by. In the chorus of the musical "Bajour," where he had his Broadway debut in 1964, Mr. Sorvino performed for over seven months, but his subsequent production, the comedy "Mating Dance," which starred Van Johnson, closed on the first night.

Mr. Sorvino held jobs as a waiter and a bartender, sold automobiles, instructed young actors, and made appearances in ads for tomato sauce and deodorant. After the birth of his first kid, Mira, he created marketing text for

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