‘Law & Order’: Who Did Paul Sorvino Play on the Show?

by Megan Molseed

News broke earlier today that longtime stage, TV, and film actor Paul Sorvino has passed away. The prolific actor is perhaps best known for his role in the Martin Scorsese gangster classic Goodfellas. He is also well-known for his role as Sergeant Phil Cerreta in the long-running NBC crime drama series, Law & Order. However, Sorvino’s run on the recently revived series occurred many years ago. Prompting us to take a look back at the character Sorvino portrays in the popular Dick Wolf-led franchise.

Who Did Paul Sorvino Portray In The Original Law & Order Series?

In 1991, Paul Sorvino joined the Law & Order cast as the show’s sophomore season was just getting underway. Sorvino’s role was that of Sergeant Phil Cerreta, a homicide detective who finds himself paired with Chris Noth’s Mike Logan. Paul Sorvino’s first appearance in the series comes in the episode Confession. And, the character makes quite an impact from the jump.

Initially, the partnership between Sorvino’s Cerreta and Noth’s Logan was not copesetic. However, the two grew to become close during the character’s run in the series.

Sorvino’s Detective Cerreta Uses His Charm To Get To The Bottom Of Some Big Cases

An Italian-American Catholic, Paul Sorvino’s Detective Cerreta fits right in on the New York streets. Cerreta is regularly using his charm while investigating cases. Making connections with witnesses and suspects during the interview process.

After just over one season on the popular NBC drama series, Sorvino’s character made his exit, moving into a desk-job position in another precinct. Additionally, the actor has cited the limited range of his character as the reason for his exit from the series.

DeeDee Sorvino Shares The News Of Her Husband’s Death, ‘I Am Heartbroken’

The news of Paul Sorvino’s death was released early on Monday, July 25 after the actor’s wife, DeeDee Sorvino shared her heartbreaking loss on her Instagram. In her message, DeeDee Sorvino tells her followers that she is “completely devastated” by her husband’s death.

“The love of my life & the most wonderful man who has ever lived is gone,” DeeDee Sorvino says in her post.

“I am heartbroken,” the widow adds.

Paul Sorvino passed away on Monday, July 22 from natural causes. The actor was 83 years old. Sorvino is survived by his children, daughter, and Academy Award-winning actress Mira Sorvino, son Michael, and daughter Amanda. Sorvino worked with Amanda, directing and starring in her 2012 film The Trouble With Cali.