Shepherd’s most well-known roles were as the mother of important characters in the dramas Goodfellas and The Sopranos.
Actor and real estate agent Tommy Titone announced her death on Friday, stating that she “passed away peacefully very early morning.”
Born 31 October 1934, Shepherd had roles in movies Mystic Pizza, Uncle Buck, Requiem for a Dream, and A Dirty Shame.
She also had guest appearances in TV series, including Ed, Law & Order, and Blue Bloods.
Paying tribute to Shepherd, Titone wrote: “I studied with Suzanne as a young actor. She saw in me what I could not yet see in myself. She introduced me to my husband.
“She was the officiant to our marriage under a beautiful gazebo in Central Park with a gathering of family and friends. For this, I will always be grateful.
“She was a huge presence. A BIG personality. She roared with life and at it.”
She also dedicated some 43 years to the teaching and coaching of actors, holding positions at a number of prestigious conservatories.
An impending documentary, tentatively titled A Gift of Fire, will also focus on her career as an actor-trainer and life coach.
Online, admirers poured into the actor and teacher’s post to pay their respects.
Another wrote: “An unforgettable one-of-a-kind character made for the movies, she’ll always be Big Ethel in A DIRTY SHAME and Mary the nice old lady that Holly Hunter becomes friends with in LIVING OUT LOUD to me — RIP queen.”
“Excellent actress who made The Sopranos and Goodfellas so special,” another commenter said. I’m grateful, Suzanne Shepherd. RIP.
According to a third, “She was always great at everything she did.”
Daughter Kate Shepherd, son-in-law Miles, daughter-in-law Joyce, and granddaughter Isabelle survive Suzanne Shepherd.