Paul Herman, Goodfellas and The Sopranos Actor, Dies At 76

The Sopranos and Goodfellas actor Paul Herman has died at the age of 76. Sopranos star Michael Imperioli confirmed Herman's death in a recent Instagram post: "Our friend and colleague PAUL HERMAN has passed away. Paulie was just a great dude. A first class storyteller and raconteur and one hell of an actor. Goodfellas, Once Upon a Time in America , The Irishman and of course The Sopranos are some highlights. Paulie lived around the corner from me the last few years and i am glad we got to spend some time together before he left us. I'll miss him. Lots of love to his family, friends and our community of actors and filmmakers. #thesopranos #goodfellas #paulherman".

As Michael Imperioli points out in his eulogy, Paul Herman was a face that many know from the world of mob world cinema. A resident of Brooklyn, New York, Herman came into the acting business alongside other acting icons like Joe Pesci (The Irishman), Frank Vincent (The Sopranos), Rodney Dangerfield, Mickey Rourke, and Robert De Niro (The Irishman)  in his earliest films like Dear Mr. Wonderful, Easy Money, The Pope of Greenwich Village and Once Upon A Time In America

Not only did those projects help embed Herman in a generation of top-tier actors, but it also helped expose him to great directors. By the mid-to-late-80s, Herman was appearing in some of the biggest TV series of the time (Miami Vice, The Equalizer), and become a regular staple of director Martin Scorsese's films (The Color of Money, The Last Temptation of Christ). When Scorsese cast Herman in both of his mobster epics (Goodfellas and Casino), it cemented the actor as a minor staple of the genre – one that David Chase would later tap at the end of the 1990s, for his mobster deconstruction drama series The Sopranos, where Herman once again played a memorable recurring character, Peter 'Beansie' Gaeta. 

(Photo: HBO)

The Sopranos kept Paul Herman working in the early 2000s; he also became a recurring character on HBO's Entourage in the mid-2000s, where he played Vincent Chase's high-strung accountant, Marvin. After Entourage ended in 2010, Herman only took on a few projects – mostly working with filmmaker David O. Russell (The Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle) and one last round with Scorsese (The Irishman). He was gearing up for actor Chuck Zito's (Oz, Sons of Anarchy) new project, Street Justice, which will collect an ensemble of onscreen tough guys, including Den Winters (Oz), Tony Sirico (The Sopranos), Vincent Pastore (The Sopranos), Emilio Rivera (Mayans M.C.), Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, and others. 

Paul Herman died on what would've been his 76th birthday. May he rest in peace.