Suzanne Shepherd, an actress who had memorable roles in The Sopranos, Goodfellas, Blue Bloods, and many more, has died at 89. According to Variety, she passed at her home in New York City on Friday morning.
Shepherd is likely best known for her time as Mary DeAngelis, the mother of Carmella Soprano on the HBO crime series. She also is known as Karen Hill's mother in Goodfellas, though her career got a real kick a few years before Scorsese's crime epic was released.
Her first acting role came as part of 1988's Mystic Pizza, starring opposite Julia Roberts. She moved on from here to appear in Uncle Buck as the infamous school principal John Candy's character confronts over his niece. All and all, her career continued all the way through 2023. Her final role is 2023's The Performance.
An upcoming documentary called A Gift of Fire will also highlight her long career as an acting teacher, too. As Variety notes, Shepherd was a theater director at different places nationwide and was an acting coach for 40 years with her own studio in New York City.
Apart from her time in Goodfellas or The Sopranos, Shepherd was in Jacob's Ladder, Trees Lounge, the 1997 adaptation of Lolita, Requiem for a Dream, A Dirty Shame with John Waters, and several more television projects. This includes the Law & Order franchise, Third Watch, Ed and Blue Bloods.
"I studied with Suzanne as a young actor. She saw in me what I could not yet see in myself," actor and real estate agent Tom Titone posted on Facebook about Shepherd. "She introduced me to my husband. She was the officiant to our marriage under a beautiful gazebo in Central Park with a gathering of family and friends. For this, I will always be grateful. She was a huge presence. A BIG personality. She roared with life and at it. May she rest now."
Sopranos actor Ray Abruzzo also shared some kind words about the actress. "Sad to hear of the passing of Suzanne Shepherd," he wrote. "A force of nature. Actress, teacher. Played Carmella's mother on Sopranos and Karen's mother in Goodfellas." Rest in peace.