25.4 C
New York
Friday, July 12, 2024

'Goodfellas' star Paul Sorvino was 'a proud patriot' who loved America: widow

Whenever Paul Sorvino spotted a veteran at a bar or restaurant, he was determined to say thank you.

The actor, known for playing crooks and cops like Paulie Cicero in “Goodfellas” and NYPD sergeant Phil Cerreta on “Law & Order,” passed away in 2022 at age 83. His wife, Dee Dee Sorvino, was by his side.

Nearly a year after his passing, Dee Dee is determined to keep her late husband’s legacy alive. The couple was preparing to launch Sorvino Vino shortly before his death. A percentage of proceeds from the wine will now be donated to the Gary and Dottie Capers Foundation, which supports underserved families and at-risk youth. It honors U.S. Marine Corps Major James Capers, whose life story will be the subject of a documentary premiering this fall.

Dee Dee Sorvino is determined to keep her late husband Paul Sorvino's legacy alive.

Dee Dee Sorvino is determined to keep her late husband Paul Sorvino’s legacy alive. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)

The wine was launched on Valentine’s Day.

“Supporting our vets was so important to Paul,” Dee Dee told Fox News Digital. “Any time we would be out somewhere if we saw a vet, we would always buy them a round of drinks and thank them for their service. We would always ask, ‘What can we get you?’ It was so small, but it was so important to Paul that our veterans were remembered and thanked.”

WIDOW OF ‘GOODFELLAS’ ACTOR HOPES POLITICS WASN’T WHY HE WAS LEFT OUT OF OSCARS IN MEMORIAM SEGMENT

Dee Dee Sorvino, bottom-middle right, and the American Legion Post 43 pose for a picture at Paul Sorvino's Celebration Of Life at The Hollywood Museum on Aug. 17, 2022, in Hollywood, California.

Dee Dee Sorvino, bottom-middle right, and the American Legion Post 43 pose for a picture at Paul Sorvino’s Celebration Of Life at The Hollywood Museum on Aug. 17, 2022, in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Unique Nicole/Getty Images)

“He was very good friends with Gary Sinise,” the Emmy winner shared. “And he really admired how Gary would put so much time into helping our vets. Gary has raised millions, I’m sure, by this point. He’s always out there helping vets. Paul really admired that, and he always wanted to do something. So this is my way of making that dream come true. It’s certainly not as big as what Gary Sinise does, but it’s Paul still saying thank you.”

Dee Dee Sorvino said Paul Sorvino was inspired by fellow actor Gary Sinise's efforts to help veterans across the country.

Dee Dee Sorvino said Paul Sorvino was inspired by fellow actor Gary Sinise’s efforts to help veterans across the country. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts)

The couple first met in the green room at Fox News while waiting for separate appearances on the network. They announced their surprise elopement while on Neil Cavuto’s show in 2015.

According to Dee Dee, the star was “excited” for the next chapter of his life.

“He was at a point where he really wanted to do something,” Dee Dee recalled. “Whenever we talked about the wine, he right away talked about how we could help our vets. That’s why we were especially excited to launch this… He loved our country and was a proud patriot… We put the deal together, he designed the label and we tasted the wine… This is a bittersweet tribute, but it’s always nice to think about my husband and do something that would have made him happy.”

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT NEWSLETTER

The couple's wine, Sorvino Vino, was launched on Valentine's Day.

The couple’s wine, Sorvino Vino, was launched on Valentine’s Day. (Courtesy of Dee Dee Sorvino)

Before Sorvino’s death, Dee Dee said he was asked to appear on “The Masked Singer.” Sorvino had previously dealt with health issues, and the couple believed he would have made an appearance in the new year. The possibility never came to fruition.

“Paul is a strong guy, and he didn’t want people feeling bad for him,” Dee Dee explained. “But he loved singing – that was important to him too. We were very excited for what was to come – the wine, the singing. Right before he died, he was very happy. He had a lot going on… But then something took him out quickly.”

From left to right, Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Paul Sorvino and Joe Pesci starred in the 1990 gangster movie "Goodfellas."

From left to right, Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Paul Sorvino and Joe Pesci starred in the 1990 gangster movie “Goodfellas.” (Photo by Warner Brothers/Getty Images)

In his over 50 years in the entertainment business, Sorvino was a mainstay in films and television, playing an Italian American communist in Warren Beatty’s “Reds,” Henry Kissinger in Oliver Stone’s “Nixon” and mob boss Eddie Valentine in “The Rocketeer.” He would often say that while he might be best known for playing gangsters (and his very good system for slicing garlic) his real passions were poetry, painting and opera.

PAUL SORVINO AND WIFE DEE DEE SORVINO HAD THE ‘MOST WONDERFUL LIFE’ TOGETHER: ‘WE WERE SO HAPPY EVERY DAY’

In 2017, the couple collaborated on a book titled "Pinot, Pasta, And Parties," which revealed some of their favorite recipes to make and share together.

In 2017, the couple collaborated on a book titled “Pinot, Pasta, And Parties,” which revealed some of their favorite recipes to make and share together. (Photo by Brandon Williams/Getty Images)

Dee Dee described Sorvino as “the perfect husband.”

“We were happy every day,” she tearfully recalled. “We did everything together. I just miss him so much. We always put each other first… He was a charming, sweet, wonderful man. We never got tired of each other. We always tried to have fun together… Paul was a lot older, so we knew that he wouldn’t be around forever. When you’re the same age, it’s a little different. But I have zero regrets. We cherished each day together. I’m still mourning, and I still cry every day. But my tears are also happy tears. I’m very happy and grateful for the time I had with him. I was blessed. I just wished I had more years with him.”

Dee Dee also described how her husband wanted to shed a spotlight on veterans in needs. It is a topic they often spoke about and bonded over. Sorvino’s rep told Fox News Digital the actor served in the Army “during the Vietnam era.” He was a member of The American Legion Post 43 in Hollywood, California.

Paul and Dee Dee Sorvino bonded over food, wine and their love of supporting our troops.

Paul and Dee Dee Sorvino bonded over food, wine and their love of supporting our troops. (Photo by Greg Doherty/Getty Images)

“Paul wasn’t really political, but he was conservative,” she explained. “He was very much for our military. But he would support his friends. He was like his mafia characters in a way – it was all about loyalty. But it was important for him to love America. He had no patience for anyone who would criticize our country. He felt America came first. And that’s why helping veterans is as good as it gets.”

Dee Dee admitted she is still learning how to move forward. Encouraging messages from Sorvino’s fans have uplifted her, she said. Dee Dee described receiving an outpouring of support, most recently, when the actor was omitted from the 2023 Oscars’ In Memoriam segment. Sorvino was noticeably absent from the broadcast. At the time, she called on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to apologize for his exclusion.

“The silver lining is that Paul probably got more attention than if he had been included,” Dee Dee explained. “The fans came out – it was an outcry. The situation was heartbreaking, but the reaction was heartwarming. You know, when people die, they leave fans behind. They leave co-stars, family and spouses behind. And it was hurtful. He deserved to be honored, along with the others who were left out.”

PAUL SORVINO DEAD AT 83: HOLLYWOOD MOURNS THE LOSS OF ‘GOODFELLAS’ STAR

Paul Sorvino had a successful acting career that lasted over 50 years.

Paul Sorvino had a successful acting career that lasted over 50 years. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)

As with most who starred in “Goodfellas,” the image followed Sorvino for the rest of his life. Now, Dee Dee hopes his memory will continue to inspire others.

“The good thing about being a movie star or a singer is that your image, your voice, is still with us,” she reflected. “He’s not forgotten. And he won’t ever be. And I’ll always be thankful for that.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Related Articles

Stay Connected

1,520FansLike
4,561FollowersFollow
0FollowersFollow
- Advertisement -

Latest Articles