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Suzanne Shepherd, ‘Sopranos’ and ‘Goodfellas’ Mother, Dies at 89

Suzanne Shepherd, an actress known for playing mothers to key characters in Goodfellas and The Sopranos, has died. She was 89.

Shepherd died peacefully in her home in New York City early Friday morning, her agent told The Hollywood Reporter.

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Shepherd appeared in 20 episodes of The Sopranos as Mary DeAngelis, the mother of Edie Falco’s Carmela Soprano, and played the mother of Lorraine Bracco’s Karen Hill in Goodfellas.

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Sopranos actor Ray Abruzzo remembered Shepherd on Instagram, calling her “a force of nature.”

Her other credits include roles in movies like Mystic Pizza, Uncle Buck, Lolita, Requiem for a Dream, Living Out Loud and Working Girl and guest appearances in TV shows like Ed, Blue Bloods, Law & Order and Third Watch.

Shepherd’s last onscreen role was in 2023’s The Performance as Tess.

Born Oct. 31, 1934, Shepherd graduated from Bennington College and studied with Larry Arrick, Herbert Berghoff and Sanford Meisner and was also a teacher and acting coach who served on the faculty of Trinity Square Conservatory, Hartman Conservatory, the Berghof Studio and her own studio in New York City, according to a bio on her website.

Shepherd directed at the Nederlander Theatre and Steppenwolf and played leading roles in productions at The Roundabout, Yale Repertory and Berkeley Repertory and major regional theaters.

Shepherd is survived by her daughter, artist Kate Shepherd, son-in-law Miles McManus and granddaughter Isabelle Shepherd. A memorial service is expected to be announced in 2024.

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