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Paul Herman, ‘The Sopranos’ and ‘Goodfellas’ actor, dies at 76

“Sopranos” co-star Michael Imperioli confirmed Herman's death on Instagram. A cause of death has not been announced.
Paul Herman and James Gandolfini in "The Sopranos."
Paul Herman and James Gandolfini in "The Sopranos."Moviestore Collection Ltd / Alamy
/ Source: Variety

Paul Herman, the character actor best known for his role as club owner Peter “Beansie” Gaeta in “The Sopranos,” died Tuesday. His “Sopranos” co-star Michael Imperioli confirmed the news in an Instagram post. He was 76. A cause of death has not been announced.

“Paulie was just a great dude,” Imperioli wrote in his Instagram post. “A first class storyteller and raconteur and one hell of an actor. ‘Goodfellas,’ ‘Once Upon a Time in America,’ ‘The Irishman’ and of course ‘The Sopranos’ are some highlights. Paulie lived around the corner from me the last few years and i am glad we got to spend some time together before he left us. I’ll miss him. Lots of love to his family, friends and our community of actors and filmmakers.”

In a statement to Variety, Herman’s “Goodfellas” co-star Robert De Niro said: “I am very sad about the passing of Paul Herman. He was a wonderful actor as well as a dear friend. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him, and by the profession he so proudly served through the quality of his work.”

Image: Paul Herman
Paul Herman attends the Critics' Choice Movie Awards in 2014. Christopher Polk / Getty Images

Herman’s first film credit was in “Dear Mr. Wonderful,” a 1982 comedy film starring Joe Pesci. Over the next two decades, he would consistently appear in several high-profile films, many of which were mob or crime films such as “Once Upon a Time in America,” “The Purple Rose of Cairo,” “The Cotton Club,” “Big,” “Bullets Over Broadway,” “Heat” and “Analyze That.” He also had guest roles in several television shows, including “The Equalizer” and “Miami Vice.” Herman was a prolific collaborator of Martin Scorsese, first working with the director in the 1986 sports drama “The Color of Money.” He would appear in many other movies by Scorsese over the years, including “The Last Temptation of Christ,” “Goodfellas” and “Casino.”

Herman would appear in five episodes of “The Sopranos” as Beansie, a former drug dealer and associate of the DiMeo crime family. He joined the show for a three-episode arc in Season 2, and made guest appearances in Season 4 and Season 6. In his most famous scene from the show, Beansie was viciously attacked by his former friend Richie Aprile (David Proval), who throws a pot of coffee on him and runs him over with a car.

After “The Sopranos,” Herman had a recurring role on “Entourage” as Marvin, the accountant of main character Vince Chase (Adrian Grenier). He also had notable supporting parts in “Silver Linings Playbook” and “American Hustle.” In 2019, he would reunite with Scorsese for his final role in “The Irishman,” in which he played mobster Whispers DiTullio.