Tuesday, July 26, 2022

A Tough but Tender Guy

This is posted in honor of Paul Sorvino, “the burly character actor who made a career out of playing forceful types, most notably the coldhearted mobster Paulie Cicero in Martin Scorsese’s GoodFellas”—to quote The Hollywood Reporter—and who died yesterday at age 83.

Sorvino’s extensive Internet Movie Database (IMDb) credits run from parts in forgotten situation comedies to his role as Sergeant Phil Cerreta on Law & Order and his recurring portrayal of crime boss Frank Costello in the Epix-TV series Godfather of Harlem. He played the title role in 1976’s Streets of San Francisco spin-off, Bert D’Angelo/Superstar, and did a turn as a family patriarch in the Canadian crime drama Bad Blood (2017-2018). But for some reason, when I think of Sorvino on the boob tube, what comes first to mind is his short-lived but lovable embodiment of a desk-bound police veteran who becomes a street cop again, in The Oldest Rookie (1987-1988). The opening sequence from that series is embedded below.

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