New York City – November 20, 2023
Suzanne Shepherd, the esteemed actress renowned for her memorable performances in “The Sopranos” and “Goodfellas,” peacefully passed away at the age of 89 in her New York City residence during the early morning hours on Friday, as confirmed by her agent Sarah Fargo in a statement to USA TODAY on Sunday.
Fargo expressed, “The celebrated actress, director, and legendary acting teacher and private coach passed away peacefully in her home in New York City.” She also shared that details about a memorial service to honor Shepherd’s legacy would be announced in the early part of the new year.
In “The Sopranos,” Shepherd portrayed the character Mary DeAngelis, mother to Carmela Soprano (Edie Falco), from 2000 to 2007. Ray Abruzzo, a fellow cast member, paid tribute to Shepherd on Instagram, describing her as “a force of nature.” Chris Caldovino, another alumnus of “The Sopranos,” extended his condolences, marking Shepherd’s passing with a heartfelt “Rest In Peace ❤.”
Shepherd’s talent extended beyond the small screen, as she also played a notable role as Karen Hill’s mother (Lorraine Bracco) in Martin Scorsese’s renowned 1990 film “Goodfellas,” featuring Robert De Niro, JoePesci, and the late Ray Liotta.
Before gaining fame in these acclaimed crime productions, Shepherd made her debut in the 1988 rom-com “Mystic Pizza,” sharing the screen with Julia Roberts. Her final film role was in the 2023 movie “The Performance,” according to IMDb.
Beyond acting, Shepherd left an indelible mark as a director in various theaters and served as an acting coach at renowned institutions such as Trinity Square Conservatory, Hartman Conservatory, the Berghof Studio, and her own studio in New York City.
Actor and real-estate agent Tom Titone, one of Shepherd’s former students, remembered her as “a huge presence” with a “BIG personality” in a heartfelt Facebook post. He acknowledged her impact on his life, stating, “She saw in me what I could not yet see in myself” and credited her with introducing him to his husband and officiating their marriage in Central Park.
Suzanne Shepherd is survived by her daughter Kate Shepherd, son-in-law Miles McManus, and granddaughter Isabelle Shepherd. As the entertainment industry mourns the loss of a seasoned talent, Shepherd’s legacy will undoubtedly endure through her impactful contributions to film, television, and the lives of those she touched as an influential acting teacher and mentor.