Suzanne Shepherd, ‘Goodfellas’ and ‘Sopranos’ actor, dead at 89

Nov 19, 2023, 4:59 PM

Suzanne Shepherd in New York City in 2004.
(Patrick McMullan, Getty Images)...

Suzanne Shepherd in New York City in 2004. (Patrick McMullan, Getty Images)

(Patrick McMullan, Getty Images)

(CNN) — Suzanne Shepherd, veteran actress known for playing the mother of Edie Falco’s Carmela Soprano on “The Sopranos,” has died.

She was 89.

A representative for Shepherd told CNN in a statement on Sunday that the actress had died at her home in New York City on Friday.

Her daughter Kate Shepherd told TMZ that a cause of death has not yet been determined, but her mother had been suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Shepherd’s decade-spanning career includes a number of iconic film and TV roles, including “The Sopranos,” “Goodfellas,” “Requiem for a Dream” and “Mystic Pizza.”

Her first official Hollywood credit came in 1988 when she appeared as Aunt Tweedy in “Mystic Pizza” alongside Julia Roberts and Vincent D’onofrio. She went on to appear in movies such as “Working Girl” and “Uncle Buck” in the late 1980s.

A break for Suzanne Shepherd

Her breakout role came in 1990 when she appeared as the mother of Karen Hill (Lorraine Bracco) in “Goodfellas,” which starred Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Ray Liotta. The film was nominated for six Oscars, with Pesci taking home a statue for his performance in a supporting role.

Shepherd went on to appear in films such as “Lolita,” “Living Out Loud,” and “Trees Lounge” throughout the 1990s, before she took on her iconic role as Mary DeAngelis in the Emmy-winning HBO series “The Sopranos.” ​​(HBO, like CNN, is a unit of Warner Bros. Discovery).

She appeared in 20 episodes of the mob drama as the mother of Carmela Soprano (Edie Falco) between 2000 and 2007.

“Sad to hear of the passing of Suzanne Shepherd,” her “Sopranos” co-star Ray Abruzzo wrote on X (formerly Twitter) Sunday, adding that Shepherd was “a force of nature.”

Her most recent credit, according to IMDb, came this year when she appeared with Robert Carlyle, Jeremy Piven and Maimie McCoy in the war-era film “The Performance.”

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

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Suzanne Shepherd, ‘Goodfellas’ and ‘Sopranos’ actor, dead at 89