Suzanne Shepherd has died at 89: The Sopranos actress is considered a “force of nature”

NEW YORK CITY: Suzanne Shepherd, the veteran actress known for playing Carmela Soprano on “The Sopranos,” has died at the age of 89.

Kate Shepherd, daughter of the late Suzanne Shepherd, shared the heartbreaking news that her mother passed away peacefully in her sleep on the morning of Friday, November 17, TMZ reports.

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Although the cause of death has not yet been determined, Suzanne, known for her notable film and television roles, had been battling chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and experienced a notable decline in her health in the days that followed. preceded his death.

The iconic career of Suzanne Shepherd

Renowned for her acting prowess, Shepherd not only studied under Sanford Meisner but also became the first woman to teach his acclaimed program.

With more than four decades as a theater coach in New York and a theater director across the country, Shepherd’s influence has been profound. The upcoming documentary, “A Gift of Fire,” highlights her landmark teaching career.

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From playing Aunt Tweedy in Mystic Pizza to Karen’s overbearing mother in “Goodfellas” to Carmela Soprano’s mother in “The Sopranos,” Shepherd’s versatile talents have left an indelible mark.

Shepherd’s credits include Martin Scorsese’s “Goodfellas,” 1997’s “Lolita,” and 2000’s “Requiem for a Dream.” She continued to captivate audiences until her last documented role as Tess in the 2023 film, “The Performance.”

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Suzanna Shepherd in the mid-50s (Instagram/KateShepherd235)
Suzanna Shepherd has died aged 89 (Instagram/@kateshepherd235)

Sopranos star Ray Abruzzo pays tribute to Suzanne Shepherd

In a touching tribute on Instagram, The Sopranos actor Ray Abruzzo mourned the death of Suzanne Shepherd.

“Sad to hear of the passing of Suzanne Shepherd. A force of nature. Actress, teacher. She played Carmella’s mother on Sopranos and Karen’s mother on Goodfellas,” he wrote.

Ray Abruzzo is another cast member of The Supranos (Instagram/ Ray Abruzzo)
The Sopranos star Ray Abruzzo remembered Suzanne Shepherd in a heartfelt tribute (Instagram/@realrayabruzzo)

Who is Suzanne Shepherd’s daughter?

American artist Kate Shepherd, based in New York, and her daughter Suzanne Shepherd, born in 1961, have traced an impressive artistic career.

Starting with a BA from Oberlin College in 1982, she briefly explored the Institute of Architecture and Urban Studies in New York before embarking on solo artistic pursuits, contributing portraits and drawings to the New Yorker.

Shepherd’s academic achievements include an MFA from the New York Academy of Art in 1986, attendance at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1990, and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in 1992.

His solo exhibitions have been part of renowned venues such as the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC and the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art in Oregon.

With a long list of exhibitions nationally, Shepherd’s artistic prowess has been showcased in notable spaces such as the Hiram Butler Gallery in Houston, Texas, and the Krakow Witkin Gallery in Boston, Massachusetts.

Suzanne is survived by the other members of her family, her son-in-law Miles, her daughter-in-law Joyce and her granddaughter Isabelle.

Kate Shepherd, daughter of Suzanne Shepherd (Instagram/ KAteShepherd235)
Kate Shepherd announced the news of the death of her mother Suzanne Shepherd (Instagram/@kateshpherd235)

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