Suzanne Shepherd, Actress Known for Playing Mothers, Dies at 89

Suzanne Shepherd, an influential New York acting teacher who found success in midlife as a character actress, including memorable turns as the mothers of Edie Falco’s character on “The Sopranos” and Lorraine Bracco’s character in “Goodfellas,” died on Friday at her home in Manhattan. She was 89.

Her daughter, Kate Shepherd, said the cause was chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney failure.

After establishing herself as a stage actress and director, Ms. Shepherd became well known as an acting instructor — her students included Gregory Hines, Bebe Neuwirth and Christopher Meloni — before she began acting in film and on television when she was in her mid-50s.

She began her big-screen career with two 1988 romantic comedies:

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