She also appeared in films like "Mystic Pizza," "Lolita," and "Requiem for a Dream."
Suzanne Shepherd, the actress who mothered iconic mob wives in Goodfellas and The Sopranos, has died. She was 89.
A representative for the actress confirmed the news to EW that Shepherd passed away peacefully in her New York City home on Friday, Nov. 17. She is survived by her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter.
Born Suzanne Stern on Oct. 31, 1934, the actress began her career on the stage, not making her debut on the big screen until she landed the role of Mystic Pizza’s Aunt Tweedy in her mid-50s. In the 1988 coming-of-age movie, Shepherd played the aunt of Julia Roberts' character. Two years later, she portrayed the mother of Lorraine Bracco’s Karen in Martin Scorsese’s classic crime film Goodfellas.
One round as the mother of a long-suffering mob wife was not enough: Shepherd played a similar role on The Sopranos starting in the 2000s, appearing in 20 episodes as Mary DeAngelis, the disapproving mother of Carmela (Edie Falco) and in-law to Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini).
Fellow Sopranos alum Ray Abruzzo, who played Little Carmine, remembered Shepherd in an Instagram post, calling her a “force of nature”
Despite her late start in Hollywood, Shepherd would garner more than 40 screen credits, with additional performances in Bullet, Lolita, Requiem for a Dream, and A Dirty Shame. On the small screen, she also appeared in Ed, Law & Order, and Blue Bloods.
In addition to her acting career, Shepherd directed theatrical productions across the nation and worked as an acting coach at her own New York studio.
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