Suzanne Shepherd has died at the age of 89, her family confirmed on Saturday evening.
She was known as a “mafia actress” for her roles in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas as character Karen Hill’s mother and as Carmella Soprano’s mother in The Sopranos.
Suzanne’s granddaughter Isabelle told the story The American sun of the actress’ death, but no cause of death was given and the family provided no additional details.
Along with Isabelle, Shepherd is survived by her daughter Kate, son-in-law Miles and daughter-in-law Joyce.
Fans flooded social media with tributes to the star, hailed as one of America’s ‘go-to’ actresses for gangster films.
Sad: Goodfellas and The Sopranos star Suzanne Shepherd has died aged 89, her family confirmed on Saturday evening
Star: She was known as a ‘mafia actress’ for her roles in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas as the mother of character Karen Hill (seen as Karen)
In Goodfellas, she had a scene-stealing role as the mother who despaired over Lorraine Bracco’s character marrying Ray Liotta’s Henry Hill gangster.
In The Sopranos, she was again desperate as Mary DeAngelis, the mother of Carmela Soprano, played by actress Edie Falco, who is married to James Gandolfini’s Tony Soprano.
Sopranos actor Ray Abruzzo, 69, was among the stars to pay tribute to Suzanne on Instagram.
He said: “Sad to hear of Suzanne Shepherd’s passing. A force of nature. Actress, teacher.
‘Played Carmella’s mother on Sopranos and Karen’s mother on Goodfellas.’
He wasn’t the only one to pay tribute as fans rushed to acknowledge the sad news this weekend.
One fan wrote on Twitter: ‘Outstanding actress who made Goodfellas and The Sopranos so special. Thank you, Suzanne Herder. REST IN PEACE.’
“She wasn’t perfect at either [Goodfellas and the Sopranos]another person said.
Someone else said: ‘She was always amazing in everything she did.’
Loved ones: Suzanne’s granddaughter Isabelle told The US Sun about the actress’ death, but no cause of death was given and the family provided no additional details (seen in 2018 with a friend)
Share: In The Sopranos, she desperately played the role of Mary DeAngelis (seen right), the mother of Carmela Soprano, played by actress Edie Falco, who is married to James Gandolfini’s Tony Soprano
A fourth tweeted: “She left us with so many fantastic performances.”
Suzanne’s career spanned more than 35 years, with her first role as Aunt Tweedy in 1988’s ‘Mystic Pizza’ starring Julia Roberts.
Her TV appearances included Law and Order and Blue Bloods and she played a friend of Ellen Burstyn’s drug-addicted mother in Requiem for a Dream, which also starred Jared Leto and Jennifer Connelly.
Her last appearance was in 2023’s The Performance, and she was a renowned theater director.
An upcoming documentary called A Gift of Fire will also chronicle her career as a leading acting teacher.