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Suzanne Shepherd, GoodFellas and The Sopranos actor, dies aged 89 | Film

Suzanne Shepherd, an actor who appeared in GoodFellas, The Sopranos, Mystic Pizza and Lolita, has died aged 89.

Shepherd died at her home in New York City on Friday, her agent confirmed to the Hollywood Reporter.

In an acting career that spanned six decades, Shepherd appeared in films including Mystic Pizza – her film acting debut – and the 1997 adaptation of Lolita, in which she played Miss Pratt, the titular character’s headmistress. She also played the mother of Lorraine Bracco’s Karen Hill in GoodFellas, as well as small roles in Requiem for a Dream, Uncle Buck and Working Girl.

Shepherd also played Mary DeAngelis, mother of Edie Falco’s Carmela Soprano, in 20 episodes of the hit HBO drama.

Sopranos actor Ray Abruzzo paid tribute to Shepherd on Instagram, calling her “a force of nature”.

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Born as Suzanne Stern in 1934, she was a member of the pioneering improvisational theatre group Compass Players, thought to be the first in the US, alongside Alan Alda, Alan Arkin and co-founder David Shepherd, whom she married and later divorced.

She was also a teacher and acting coach for 40 years, serving on the faculty of Trinity Square Conservatory, Hartman Conservatory and Berghof Studio, as well as running her own acting studio in New York.

Shepherd also directed theatre at the Nederlander in New York and the Steppenwolf in Chicago.

She is survived by her daughter and a granddaughter.

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