Paul Sorvino in 1976. He sang and performed onstage before finding his stride in movies and television.

Paul Sorvino, the tough-guy actor — and operatic tenor and figurative sculptor — known for his roles as calm and often courteously quiet but dangerous men in films like “Goodfellas” and television shows like “Law & Order,” died on Monday. He was 83.

His publicist, Roger Neal, confirmed the death, at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla. No specific cause was given, but Mr. Neal said that Mr. Sorvino “had dealt with health issues over the past few years.”

Mr. Sorvino was the father of Mira Sorvino, who won a best supporting actress Oscar for Woody Allen’s “Mighty Aphrodite” (1995). In her acceptance speech, she said her father had “taught me everything I know about acting.”

Paulie might have moved slow,” says Henry Hill, played by Ray Liotta, his neighborhood protégé in the film, “but it was only because he didn’t have to move for nobody.” (Mr. Liotta died in May at 67.)

Mr. Sorvino almost abandoned the role because he couldn’t fully connect emotionally, he told the comedian Jon Stewart, who interviewed a panel of “Goodfellas” alumni at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival. When you “find the spine” of a character, Mr. Sorvino said, “it makes all the decisions for you.”

Mr. Sorvino received a Tony Award nomination for best actor in a play and reprised the role in a 1982 film adaptation.