Suzanne Shepherd, the acclaimed actress known for her roles in The Sopranos and Goodfellas, has sadly passed away at the age of 89. She breathed her last at her home in New York City on Friday.
Shepherd, born on October 31, 1934, not only made a name for herself as an actress but also as a theater director and acting coach. She gained recognition for her portrayal of Aunt Tweedy in the 1988 film Mystic Pizza and went on to play Karen Hill’s mother in Goodfellas and Mary DeAngelis, Carmela’s mother, in HBO’s The Sopranos. She also starred as Miss Pratt in the 1997 film Lolita.
Aside from her film roles, Shepherd made guest appearances in popular shows like Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and the CBS cop-drama Blue Bloods. Her talent and contribution to the industry were evident in the range of characters she portrayed.
Shepherd was a trailblazer in her field, becoming the first woman to teach at Sanford Meisner’s program of acting study which differed from method acting during the mid-20th century. She left an indelible mark on aspiring actors and was revered as a knowledgeable and influential teacher.
The news of Shepherd’s passing has been met with sadness and heartfelt tributes. Tom Titone, an actor who studied under her, shared a touching tribute on Facebook, expressing how her larger-than-life personality left a lasting impact. Meanwhile, Ray Abruzzo, her co-star on The Sopranos, honored her on Instagram as a force of nature.
Shepherd leaves behind a legacy and a loving family. She is survived by her daughter, artist Kate Shepherd, her son-in-law Miles McManus, and her granddaughter Isabelle Shepherd. A statement from Shepherd’s talent agency noted that a memorial service will be announced at a later date, presumably in early next year.
The entertainment community mourns the loss of Suzanne Shepherd, a talented actress, director, and teacher who made her mark in the world of film and television. Her contributions to the industry will be remembered, and her presence will be greatly missed.