Suzanne Shepherd, ‘Sopranos’ and ‘Goodfellas’ actress, dies at 89

Suzanne Shepherd, the celebrated actor who starred in “The Sopranos” and “Goodfellas,” passed away Friday morning. She was 89 years old.

Shepherd, born Oct. 31, 1934, was also a theater director and acting coach who gained fame from her portrayal of Aunt Tweedy in the 1988 film “Mystic Pizza.”

She went on to play Karen Hill’s mother in “Goodfellas,” as well as Carmela’s mother, Mary DeAngelis, in HBO’s “The Sopranos.” She also starred as Miss Pratt in the 1997 film “Lolita.”

She made guest appearances in “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and, most recently, the CBS cop drama “Blue Bloods.”

Suzanne Shepherd in New York in 2004. Henry McGee / MediaPunch/IPx file Shepherd was the first woman to teach at Sanford Meisner’s acting program, which differentiated itself from method acting during the mid-20th century.

“I studied with Suzanne as a young actor,” actor Tom Titone wrote on Facebook Saturday.

“She was a huge presence. A BIG personality. She roared with life and at it. May she rest now.”

Titone said a shiva will be held for her Monday and Tuesday.

Ray Abruzzo, her co-star on “The Sopranos,” eulogized Shepherd on his Instagram on Saturday.

“Sad to hear of the passing of Suzanne Shepherd,” he said.

“A force of nature. Actress, teacher.”

According to a statement from her talent agency, Shepherd is survived by her daughter, artist Kate Shepherd, as well as her son-in-law Miles McManus and granddaughter Isabelle Shepherd.

They said a memorial service will be announced early next year.

Diana Dasrath

Diana Dasrath is entertainment producer and senior reporter for NBC News covering all platforms.

Mike Gagliardi

Mike Gagliardi is a researcher with the NBC News Network Desk.

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