Suzanne Shepherd, an actress best known for playing the mother of two iconic mob wives, first in Goodfellas and then later on The Sopranos, “passed away peacefully” on Friday morning, according to fellow actor and friend Tom Titone. She was 89.
Shepherd, who got her start on stage, didn’t make her film debut until she was in her mid-50s, playing Aunt Tweedy opposite Julia Roberts in 1988’s Mystic Pizza. Two years later, she portrayed the mother of Lorraine Bracco’s character Karen in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas.
Starting in 2000, Shepherd appeared in 20 episodes of HBO’s The Sopranos as Mary DeAngelis the disapproving mother of Edie Falco’s Carmela Soprano.
“Sad to hear of the passing of Suzanne Shepherd. A force of nature. Actress, teacher,” Ray Abruzzo, who played Little Carmine on The Sopranos, posted on Instagram.
Though she got a late start in Hollywood, Shepherd’s went on to have more than 40 screen performances, including roles in movie like Working Girl, Uncle Buck and Requiem for a Dream and TV series like Third Watch, Ed, two episodes of Blue Bloods and three iterations of Law & Order.
Just this past year, Shepherd delivered what ended up being her final performance in a film called The Performance, written and directed by Shira Piven.