In Memoriam: Suzanne Shepherd

Suzanne Shepherd
(October 31, 1934 – November 17, 2023)

Shepherd has built a remarkable career spanning decades with numerous iconic roles in both film and television, including notable appearances in “The Sopranos,” “Goodfellas,” “Requiem for a Dream,” and “Mystic Pizza.”

Shepherd in Law & Order: Criminal Intent

In 1988, she earned her first official Hollywood credit for her role as Aunt Tweedy in “Mystic Pizza,” sharing the screen with Julia Roberts and Vincent D’onofrio. Following this, she continued to feature in films such as “Working Girl” and “Uncle Buck” during the late 1980s.
Her breakthrough moment arrived in 1990 when she portrayed Karen Hill’s mother (Lorraine Bracco) in “Goodfellas,” alongside Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Ray Liotta.

Shepherd continued her film career into the 1990s with appearances in movies like “Lolita,” “Living Out Loud,” and “Trees Lounge.” However, it was her portrayal of Mary DeAngelis in the acclaimed HBO series “The Sopranos” that truly solidified her iconic status. Over the span of 2000 to 2007, she featured in 20 episodes of the Emmy-winning show, playing the role of Carmela Soprano’s mother.

Patrick McMullan/Getty Images

After graduating from Bennington College, Suzanne Shepherd studied with Larry Arrick, Herbert Berghof, and Sanford Meisner. Over the past 43 years, she taught and coached actors at various institutions in New York City. Suzanne also directed productions at numerous theaters, including the Nederlander Theatre and the Market Theatre in Johannesburg. As an actress, she performed leading roles at major regional theaters such as The Roundabout and Yale Repertory.

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