Paul Sorvino Honored by the Hollywood Chamber Of Commerce with Lifetime Achievement Award
Actor Paul Sorvino was presented with the annual Lifetime Achievement Award by the Hollywood Chamber at the 96th annual Installation & Lifetime Achievement Awards Luncheon at the Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City on Friday, March 31st. Annually the recipient of this award is given a commissioned painting by artist Robert Byrne. Actress Katherine Kelly Lang, star of the CBS series “The Bold and The Beautiful” was also on hand for the event. Sorvino joined a stellar list of past Chamber Lifetime Achievement honorees, which has included: Steve Allen, Ralph Edwards, Art Linkletter, Debbie Reynolds, Rhonda Fleming, Melissa Gilbert, Tab Hunter, Bob Barker, Esther Williams, Cloris Leachman, Tony Curtis, Tippi Hedren, Barbara Eden, Sally Kellerman, Joe Mantegna, June Lockhart, and Marilu Henner.
Brooklyn-born actor Sorvino began his career as a 16-year-old singer at a Catskills resort dreaming of becoming an opera singer. And it was no pipe dream. He had studied singing for years and, to this day, has a beautiful tenor voice.
His singing hopes somewhat stifled by asthma, he redirected his career into what indicated to be a more promising field—acting. After studying dramatic arts under the tutelage of renowned acting teacher Sanford Meisner at the prestigious American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City, Sorvino made his Broadway debut at 25 acting and singing in the original 1964 production of the musical “Bajour.” Over the next three years, Sorvino worked a variety of jobs as salesman, chauffeur, etc. while gaining prominence as an advertising writer/creative director and pursuing his acting career. He made his film debut in Carl Reiner’s 1970 comedy “Going Ape” and began a career solely dedicated to acting and occasional singing.
At 40, the tenor made his lifelong dream come true with his operatic debut in “Die Fledermaus,” selling out six performances at the Seattle Opera. In opera, he would go on to sing the lead in “The Most Happy Fella” in 2006 at The New York City Opera at Lincoln Center and sold out 15 critically-acclaimed performances.
Sorvino has appeared in more than 180 films, and a variety of television shows. An accomplished stage actor, he won six awards for his performance in the Broadway production of the dark comedy “That Championship Season”—including a Drama Desk Award and the New York Drama Critics Award for Best Actor in 1972, and was nominated for a Tony Award in 1973. He reprised the role in the 1981 movie version, and directed and starred in the Showtime version of “That Championship Season” in 1999. His most recent role in the soon-to-be released film “Once Upon a Time In Queens” won him the Best Actor award at the Florida Film Festival.
On the big screen, Sorvino is best known for his portrayal of tough guys and authority figures, in such standout performances “Goodfellas,” “Cruising,” “Nixon,” and “Romeo + Juliet.”
On television, Sorvino starred as detective Phil Cerreta on “Law & Order” and Al Miller on the sitcom “Still Standing.” Among his other starring roles on TV are Frank DeLucca in “That’s Life” and Detective Ike Porter in “The Oldest Rookie.”
Early on, Sorvino suffered from severe asthma, but as an adult, he created and mastered breathing techniques which helped control his attacks. He wrote the 1985 best-selling book “How to Become a Former Asthmatic” and founded the Sorvino Asthma Foundation to educate the public about asthma and techniques for managing the illness. He has been honored twice by the Pope for his work with asthmatics as well as by the American Medical Association.
Sir Paul Sorvino is a Knight of the Great Cross in the order of The Carinzia, founded by Saint George in the third century for the protection of the Pope (Cavaliere Di Gran Croce); and a Knight of the Italian Republic. His family is noble, its coat of arms dating back to the twelfth century.
An actor, director, best-selling author, screenwriter, professional bronze sculptor, pianist, business man, operatic tenor and passionate cook, Sorvino still returns occasionally to his original dream and headlines his own concerts.
For more information please visit www.hollywoodchamber.net.