- ° 13 april 1939
- ∧ Brooklyn, New York, USA
Tall, commanding looking Italian American actor who has made a solid career of portraying authority figures (on both sides of the law). Sorvino originally had his heart set on a life as a singer in the Opera, but never quite achieved the vocal finesse required. As he had additionally been exposed to dramatic arts whilst studying at the New York Music & Dramatic Academy, Sorvino furthered his studies in the theatre and eventually appeared in his first film _Where's Poppa (1970)_ at the age of thirty. An interesting point is that Sorvino suffered from severe asthma, and worked hard at mastering various breathing techniques to manage the illness, and not let it interfere with his blossoming career.
Sorvino appeared in a mixture of film, TV & theatre productions over the next few years, and received huge critical praise for his role in the Broadway play of That Championship Season, a role he reprised in the 1981 film alongside Robert Mitchum and Martin Sheen. Other noteworthy performances during the 1980/90s included as a strained police chief in Cruising (1980), as Mike Hammer's cop buddy in I, the Jury (1982), as "Lips Manlis" in the big budget production of Dick Tracy (1990), and he was outstanding as criminal patriach figure "Paul Cicero" in the powerhouse Goodfellas (1990).
Keeping himself continually busy, Sorvino has performed in nearly 50 movies in the past decade, including dynamic acting as Henry Kissinger in Nixon (1995), as Fulgencio Capulet in the updated Romeo + Juliet (1996) and in the Las Vegas thriller The Cooler (2003). Sorvino has also tried his hand at film direction, started the Sorvino Asthma Foundation, and is the proud father of actress Mira Sorvino.