Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Suzanne Shepherd, ‘Goodfellas’ and ‘The Sopranos’ Star, Dead at 89

Suzanne Shepherd, ‘Goodfellas’ and ‘The Sopranos’ Star, Dead at 89

Suzanne Shepherd, an actress with more than three decades of experience who appeared in Goodfellas and The Sopranos has died. She was 89.

Shepherd’s daughter, Isabel, confirmed the actress’ death to the US Sun. Her November 17 passing has also been publicly announced by Aloia Funeral Home in Garfield, NJ. No additional details, however, were provided.

Beginning her acting career in 1988, Suzanne Shepherd first appeared in the star-studded romantic comedy Mystic Pizza. From there, she appeared in dozens of other films, including Uncle Buck, Requiem for a Dream, and Lolita. She also had guest-starring roles in multiple episodes of Law & Order and Blue Bloods.

Her best-known roles, however, include that of Mary DeAngelis, Carmella Soprano’s mother, in The Sopranos and Karen’s mother in the Martin Scorsese classic Goodfellas. “She really was the ‘go to’ mother actress,” a Sopranos fan account noted on X (formerly Twitter).

Fans, Actors Pay Tribute to Suzanne Shepherd

In the wake of Suzanne Shepherd’s passing, fans and colleagues took to social media to pay tribute to the late actress. Ray Abruzzo, the actor behind Little Carmine in The Sopranos, said farewell on Instagram. “Sad to hear of the passing of Suzanne Shepherd,” Abruzzo wrote. “A force of nature. Actress, teacher. Played Carmella’s mother on Sopranos and Karen’s mother in Goodfellas.”

“Just saw Suzanne Shepherd died,” one fan wrote on X. “An unforgettable one-of-a-kind character made for the movies, she’ll always be Big Ethel in A DIRTY SHAME and Mary the nice old lady that Holly Hunter becomes friends with in LIVING OUT LOUD to me — RIP queen!”

“‘The man hasn’t been able to digest a decent meal in six weeks!’ was one of the best line deliveries in cinema history. RIP to this legend,” another fan wrote. “RIP what a loss, terrific as Karen’s mother,” added a third. “The scene were Henry Hill comes home late is perfection. Just as good as Carmella’s mother in Sopranos. Devastated.”