“Goodfellas” and “Sopranos” Actress Suzanne Shepherd Dead at 89

(RepublicanDaily.org) – Veteran actress Suzanne Shepherd, a mainstay of the American mobster genre of films and television shows, has passed away at the age of 89.

According to her agent, the actress died at her home located in the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City. People close to the actress said that her death was “peaceful.”

Shepherd’s acting career spanned several decades, with appearances on hit TV shows like Blue Bloods, Law and Order, and The Performance. However, one of the roles she is most known was her portrayal of the mother of Karen Hill (played by Lorraine Bracco) in Martin Scorsese’s mobster film “Goodfellas,” where she starred with other Scorsese veterans such as Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Ray Liotta. She also played the iconic Mary DeAngelis, the mother of Carmela Soprano (who was played by Edie Falco) for 20 episodes in the mobster TV series “The Sopranos” which centered on James Gandolfini’s Tony Soprano.

The actress’ breakout role was in 1988 in the film “Mystic Pizza,” which also starred Julia Roberts and Vincent D’onofrio. She was also part of films such as “Requiem for a Dream,” “Working Girl,” and “Uncle Buck.”

An agent of the performing arts through and through, Shepherd took acting classes along with Sanford Meisner, and was the first woman to teach Meisner’s program of acting study. She was also one of the founding members of the acting group the Compass Players in the 1960’s. She was also an acting teacher and acting coach for much of her life, running her own acting studio in New York City on top of teaching positions in schools such as the Hartman Conservatory, the Trinity Square Conservatory, and Berghof Studio. There will also be an upcoming book that will showcase her teachings entitled “A Gift of Fire.”

She was also a director of theater in Chicago’s Steppenwolf and Nederlander in New York.

The actress leaves behind a daughter and a granddaughter.

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