Gangster movie stalwart Paul Herman dies at 76
Paul Herman, who made appearances as sages and schlemiels in films like Martin Scorsese’s “Goodfellas” and “Casino” and three seasons of “The Sopranos,” died Tuesday, his 76th birthday.
His manager, T Keaton-Woods, confirmed the death in a statement but did not specify the cause or say where Mr Herman died.
Over a career spanning four decades, Mr. Herman was perhaps best known for his role on ‘The Sopranos’ as Peter Gaeta, known as Beansie, the pizzeria owner who is in trouble with a mobster – his setbacks include being hit over the head with a hot pot of coffee – but who manages to get well.
Mr. Herman also appeared for five seasons on another beloved HBO series, “Entourage,” as an accountant who pleads unsuccessful with his famous client for being less wasteful.
He frequently played unnamed characters in the half-dozen Mr. Scorsese films he appeared in, but in the director’s last feature, ‘The Irishman’, he had a more notable role: DiTullio Whisperswho, like Beansie, is a mob-involved businessman who angers the wrong people and comes to grief.
Mr. Herman’s dozens of other films include such crime-themed films as “The Cotton Club” (1984), “Once Upon a Time in America” (1984), “Heat” (1995) and “American Hustle” (2013), a goofy comedy about political corruption for which he and other cast members shared a Screen Actors Guild Award.
“The only one who ever gave me the chance to play a saint was Marty,” Mr Herman told The New York Times in 1989, referring to his role as Philip the Apostle in Mr Scorsese’s 1988 film , “The last temptation of Christ”. .”
Paul Herman was born on March 29, 1946 in Brooklyn. His film career began with “Dear Mr. Wonderful,” a 1982 West German film about working-class life in Newark and New York that starred Joe Pesci in his first leading role.
From there, Mr. Herman made a specialty of using his haggard but confident mug to play characters like a burglar (in Woody Allen’s “Radio Days”), a butler (in another film of Allen, “Bullets Over Broadway”) and a bartender. (in Sondra Locke’s “Trading Favors”), with a motley assortment of gangsters.
Information about survivors was not immediately available. Mr. Herman had homes in New York and Santa Monica, California.
Off-screen, he was known to be friendly and well-connected. “If you visited NYC from LA, he was the entertainment director,” actor Tony Danza said. said on Twitter after his death.
Music director Tommy Mottola posted an undated black and white photo to Instagram of Mr Herman sitting in a restaurant between young versions of Robert De Niro and actress and director Penny Marshall, who died in 2018. Mr Mottola has said Mr Herman had been “based on the first name of every superstar actor and musician in the world”.
Mr. Herman was co-owner of the now closed but once buzzing The Upper West Side’s Columbus restaurant, where one evening in 1989, seated next to Al Pacino, he told The Times he was the night’s “social director.” Restaurant patrons included Mr. Scorsese, Mr. Allen and Francis Ford Coppola – all friends who had cast him in their films over the years.
These three men had very different directing styles, Herman told The Times in 1989.
With Mr. Scorsese and Mr. Coppola, “you can give them your ideas on a stage,” he said. “But with Woody, well, you don’t do that with him because he has ideas he’s working on. However, you really can’t say one style is better than another.