Suzanne Shepherd, the actress who notably appeared in “Goodfellas” and “The Sopranos,” died Friday at her home in New York City, a rep for the actor confirmed to The Times. She was 89 years old.
The cause of death has not been made public so far.
In 1990, Shepherd played the mother of Karen Hill (Lorraine Bracco) in Martin Scorsese’s mafia crime drama “Goodfellas.” She also played the recurring character of Carmela Soprano’s mother, Mary DeAngelis, on the HBO drama “The Sopranos.”
Shepherd was born Suzanne Stern on October 31, 1934. After graduating from Bennington College, she studied with renowned acting teacher Sanford Meisner. He made his screen debut in the Julia Roberts-directed romantic comedy “Mystic Pizza” in 1988. Shepherd then had small roles in 1988’s “Working Girl,” opposite Melanie Griffith and Harrison Ford, and in the 1989 comedy film “Uncle Buck.” After appearing in “Goodfellas,” she appeared in “Jacob’s Ladder,” Adrian Lyne’s 1997 remake of “Lolita” and Darren Aronofsky’s psychological thriller “Requiem for a Dream.”
In addition to “The Sopranos,” Shepherd appeared on television in several episodes of the “Law & Order” universe and was most recently on the CBS police drama series “Blue Bloods.”
In addition to her acting career, Shepherd served as an acting instructor for more than four decades, having taught at the Trinity Square Conservatory, the Hartman Conservatory, the Berghof Studio, and her own studio in New York City. Some of Shepherd’s former students include “Law & Order” actor Christopher Meloni, Tony-winning actress Joan Allen and two-time Emmy winner Bebe Neuwirth.
Additionally, Shepherd directed performances around the world, including at the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago, the Ensemble Studio Theater in Los Angeles, and the Market Theater in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Shepherd is survived by his daughter Kate Shepherd, son-in-law Miles McManus and granddaughter Isabelle Shepherd.