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Paul Anthony Sorvino (born April 13, 1939) is an American actor. He is the father of actress Mira Sorvino. A portrayer of authority figures on both sides of the law, his best known film role was Paulie Cicero in Goodfellas (1990).

Life and career

Early life

Sorvino was born and raised in Brooklynmarker, New York Citymarker, the son of Italian American parents Marietta, a homemaker and piano teacher, and Ford Sorvino, a robe factory foreman. He attended Lafayette High Schoolmarker and the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.


He began his career as a copywriter in an advertising agency, where he worked with John Margeotes, founder of Margeotes, Fertitta, and Weiss. He took 18 years of voice lessons. While attending The American Musical and Dramatic Academy, he decided to go into the theatre. He made his Broadwaymarker debut in the 1964 musical Bajour, and six years later he appeared in his first film, Where's Poppa?

He received an avalanche of critical praise for his performance as Phil Romano in Jason Miller's 1972 Broadway play That Championship Season, a role he repeated in the 1982 TCS film version. In a 1974 ABC Movie of the Week, he played Harry Walter, a stout, real estate salesman, who is randomly picked up by a beautiful woman (JoAnna Cameron) and raped at gunpoint as a prank, and left to explain to his friend (Adam Arkin) and wife (Michael Learned) how "It Couldn't Happen to a Nicer Guy", a movie considered risqué, even for the '70's. He also appeared in the 1976 Elliott Gould/Diane Keaton vehicle I Will, I Will...For Now. He has starred in the weekly series We'll Get By (1975, as George Platt), Bert D'Angelo/Superstar (1976, in the title role) and "The Oldest Rookie" (1987, as Detective Ike Porter).

In 1982, Sorvino played the role of Italian-American communist Louis C. Fraina in Warren Beatty's epic film Reds. He appeared in Larry Cohen's 1985 science fiction horror film The Stuff as a reclusive militia leader, alongside his future Law & Order co-star Michael Moriarty. He helped found the American Stage Company, a group that launched several successful Off-Broadway shows, while living in Tenafly, New Jerseymarker in 1986.

In 1991, he took over from George Dzundza on the popular series Law & Order, and in 1993 he subbed for the late Raymond Burr in a Perry Mason TV movie. He has also appeared as Bruce Willis' father in the weekly series Moonlighting, and the "Lamont" counterpart in the never-aired original pilot for Sanford and Son. Some of his most notable film roles were Paul Cicero in Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas (1990) and Henry Kissinger in Oliver Stone's Nixon (1995). He founded the Paul Sorvino Asthma Foundation, with the goal of building asthma centers for children and adults across the United States. In 1998 he narrated the series "The Big House" for The History Channel. In 1999, friend Jason Miller wrote the screenplay as he directed and again starred in (albeit playing a different role) a lower-budget TV version of That Championship Season.

From 2000 to 2002, he had a starring role as Frank DeLucca in the CBS television drama That's Life. He filmed The Trouble with Cali in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area of Pennsylvania. He is directing and starring in the film which is partially funded by Lackawanna County, where the city of Scranton is the county seat. His daughter, Mira, also stars in the film. He co-ventured with Peter Margo, the founder of Palmer Video, to form to raise funds for his charity.

Personal life

Sorvino lives between Los Angelesmarker and Gilbert, Pennsylvaniamarker in the Pocono Mountains. He was married to Lorraine Davis, a drama therapist for Alzheimer's patients and has three children: Mira, Michael, and Amanda.

On January 17, 2007, news reports detailed that he displayed a gun in front of his daughter Amanda's ex-boyfriend, Daniel Snee, after the man pounded on her hotel door and made threats. Amanda testified Snee threatened to kill her at a hotel January 3 in Stowe, Vermontmarker; she said she locked herself in the bathroom and called both police and her father. Her 67-year-old father showed up before police, she testified. When police arrived, the young man was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, she said. As a deputy sheriff in Pennsylvania, Sorvino is legally able to carry a gun in different states. He did not point the gun at Snee, or threaten him.

In March 2008, Sorvino and his daughter Amanda lobbied with the Americans Against Horse Slaughter in Washington, DC for Congress and the Senate to Pass the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (S311/HR503). The Sorvinos run a private horse rescue in Gilbert, Pennsylvania.

He is also an accomplished sculptor, specializing in cast bronze. In December 2008 his sculpture of his friend the late Jason Miller was unveiled in Scrantonmarker Pa. In addition, he guest stars on the most recent album of Neapolitan singer Eddy Napoli, "Napulitanata," performing a duet of the song "Luna Rossa."


In 2005, Sorvino partnered with Lackawanna Countymarker to film The Trouble with Cali in Scranton, Pennsylvaniamarker. An initial investment by the county of $250,000 was followed by a second $250,000 in 2006 . The project has drawn criticism and media attention over the long production time and apparent lack of progress , and the fact that the county did not protect its investment with a completion bond . Sorvino has stated that the film is in post-production and will be released in 2009 .




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