Paul Sorvino

A familiar face in film and on television and stage since the early 1970s, Paul Sorvino was a Tony-nominated character actor and occasional lead whose imposing presence belied the versatility of his talents. His Italian-American heritage and Brooklyn roots assured him regular employment as policemen and gangsters, both of which he essayed in projects ranging from "Law and Order" (NBC, 1990- ) to Martin Scorsese's flawless Mob epic, "Goodfellas" (1990). But Sorvino, who had trained for nearly two decades as an opera singer and ballroom dance instructor, could be counted on to tackle all manner of roles, from the philandering businessman in "That Championship Season" (1982) and Henry Kissinger in Oliver Stone's "Nixon" (1995) to a flamboyant evangelist in Carl Reiner's "Oh, God!" (1979). He was also a regular presence in numerous television series and TV-movies, though his most memorable small-screen appearance may have been at the 1995 Academy Awards ceremony, where he wept openly for his daughter, Mira Sorvino, after she won the Oscar for "Mighty Aphrodite" (1995). Though his feature efforts became less visible after the new millennium, his body of work in all mediums cemented his status as a character actor of considerable renown.