American Actress Dies at 89

American Actress Dies at 89

( – American actress Suzanne Shepherd, who starred in Goodfellas and The Sopranos, has died at the age of 89. Her agent announced her death in New York City on November 17, and fellow actors immediately paid tribute on social media. Ray Abruzzo, who starred with Shepherd in the hit gangster series The Sopranos, called her a “force of nature.”

In the HBO drama depicting the lives of New Jersey mobsters, Ms. Shepherd played Mary DeAngelis, the mother of gang boss wife Carmela Soprano, portrayed by Edie Falco, in 20 episodes. In the smash hit mob movie Goodfellas, which starred Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, and Ray Liotta and was released in 1990, she played the mother of Lorraine Bracco’s character Karen Hill. Shepherd also starred in Mystic Pizza, her movie debut, alongside Julia Roberts in 1988.

In other notable roles, the actress appeared in the 1980s hits Uncle Buck and Working Girl, as well as the 2000 cult classic Requiem for a Dream, starring Ellen Burstyn.

According to Shepherd’s daughter, Kate, her mother passed away due to obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney failure.

Born in New York City in 1934, Shepherd attended Bennington College and became the first woman to teach the acting program of Sanford Meisner – a theater legend who devised and taught new acting methods. In partnership with Alan Alda and Alan Arkin, she founded the Compass Players in the 1950s. Compass was the first improvisational theater group in the United States and ran in Chicago and St. Louis between 1955 and 1958.

Reports say Ms. Shepherd died peacefully in her sleep at her New York home and is survived by her daughter Kate. On social media, Kate Shepherd wrote, “Hard to say RIP but come to think of it, I really do hope she’s happy right now, reunited with her brother, son and grandson.”

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