Paul Herman, ‘Goodfellas’ and ‘The Sopranos’ star, dead at 76

The actor Paul Herman, who had memorably roles in “Goodfellas,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” and “The Irishman” and starred on the HBO hit series “The Sopranos” died this week at the age of 76.

Herman’s death was confirmed by his management company, in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “We are deeply saddened at the loss of our beloved Paul Herman. A true character on and off-screen. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him, and we will always remember the sound of his laughter and bold spirit. We ask that you respect the privacy of the family at this time,” the statement read.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Herman worked for years as an actor – and often appeared in movies with Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Early credits included “Easy Money” (with Pesci and Rodney Dangerfield) and “Once Upon a Time in America” (with Pesci and De Niro). He first worked with director Martin Scorsese on “The Color of Money” and proceeded to make numerous films with the acclaimed Oscar winner, including “The Last Temptation of Christ,” “Goodfellas” (Herman memorably asks Karen Hill, played by Lorraine Bracco, if she wants to see helicopters before offering her cocaine), “Casino,” and most recently “The Irishman.” Herman also appeared in a number of Woody Allen movies, including “Radio Days,” “Bullets Over Broadway,” and “Mighty Aphrodite.”

In his later years, Herman again paired with De Niro for a trio of David O. Russell films: “Silver Linings Playbook,” “American Hustle,” and “Joy.”

“I am very sad about the passing of Paul Herman,” De Niro said in a statement. “He was a wonderful actor as well as a dear friend. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him, and by the profession, he so proudly served through the quality of his work. Rest in Peace, Paul.”

Herman rarely did television work, but when he did it was for major projects like “The Sopranos” and “Entourage.” He played Beansie Gaeta on the former series, and his death was mourned by co-star Michael Imperioli. “Paulie was just a great dude,” wrote Imperioli on Instagram. “A first class storyteller and raconteur and one hell of an actor. I’ll miss him. Lots of love to his family, friends and our community of actors and filmmakers.”

Doug Ellin, creator of “Entourage,” also posted a remembrance of Herman. “Sad day as we lost Paulie Herman, who played Marvin the accountant (based on my father). Paulie was generous, caring, and hilarious. And too young to be gone,” he wrote.

In his career, Herman was rarely singled out by awards bodies for his work, but he was the winner of a Screen Actors Guild award as part of the ensemble cast of “American Hustle.”

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