Renaissance Man

Paul Sorvino died on Monday at the age of 83. He was known above all for Goodfellas - to the point where New York cops would call out "Paulie!" if they spotted him on the other side of the street, and he was late traveling down from Montreal for The Mark Steyn Show because the US border guards at Highgate, Vermont insisted on all getting photographs with him.

He did eventually reach our studios, however, and we had an interesting conversation with Paul and his wife Dee Dee Benkie. We talked a little about acting, but more about all the other things he did - from singing to sculpting. He was a man with a tremendous appetite for life, and each of his enthusiasms informed the other. Perhaps that's why, as he mentioned at dinner afterwards, he disliked the current style in American screen acting, which he regarded as mostly shallow mannerisms.

Paul loved music of all kinds. He kept his voice in shape, whether for operatic arias or Kissinger impressions, and he let rip with a couple of songs in the course of the show - one of which is among the most famous tunes in the world, and to which he has a unique connection.

This interview has not been seen since it first aired over five years ago, and we post it in tribute to Paul Sorvino, and send our condolences to Dee Dee. As we discuss in the interview, they met in an almost impossibly cute way, and, though their time together was shorter than either would have wished, they made every moment count.

Click above to watch.

The Mark Steyn Weekend Show is a special production of The Mark Steyn Club, and airs in lieu of our Song of the Week, which will return next week. If you're a Club member and you want to weigh in on Paul and Dee Dee's thoughts on art and life, then feel free to comment away below.