“Sopranos” Actress, Suzanne Shepherd, Dies at 89

(DailyDig.com) – The renowned actress Suzanne Shepherd, who was a mainstay in “Mystic Pizza,” “Lolita,” “Goodfellas,” and “The Sopranos,” died on November 17 in her New York City residence. At the time of her death, she had recently turned 89 years old.

In addition to Alan Arkin, Alan Alda, and co-founder and ex-husband David Shepherd, Suzanne Stern (born October 31, 1934) was a pioneer in the field of improvised theater. The Compass Players were among the first of their kind in the United States. Shepherd achieved renown with her acting debut performance as Aunt Tweedy in the film “Mystic Pizza” (1988). She was also an acting instructor and theater director.

Shepherd continued her 60-year acting career by playing Karen Hill’s (Lorraine Bracco) mother in the film “Goodfellas” and Carmela Soprano’s (Edie Falco) mother, Mary DeAngelis, in “The Sopranos” for 20 episodes of the popular HBO drama.

She performed the role of Lolita’s headmistress, Miss Pratt, in the 1997 film adaptation of “Lolita.” Her acting credits also include cameos in “Uncle Buck,” “Requiem for a Dream,” and “Working Girl,” as well as guest spots on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Law & Order,” and, finally, the CBS police drama “Blue Bloods.”

Her co-star Ray Abruzzo of “The Sopranos” praised Shepherd on Instagram, describing her as an unparalleled power of nature.

Tom Titone, who studied acting with Shepherd when he was younger, posted about her on Facebook. Both physically and aurally, she was a major player who let forth a vibrant shout at life. She is now resting in peace.

Shepherd also had her own acting workshop in New York and spent 40 years coaching and teaching at Berghof Workshop, Hartman Conservatory, and Trinity Square Conservatory. In addition to her work at the Chicago Steppenwolf, Shepherd oversaw productions at the New York Nederlander.

In the middle of the twentieth century, Sanford Meisner established an acting curriculum that set itself apart from method acting. She was selected as the first woman at this institution to teach.

In early 2024, details will be published about the actress’s memorial ceremony.

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