(written from a Production point of view)
Paul Anthony Sorvino (born 13 April 1939; age 81) is the Italian-American actor who played Nikolai Rozhenko in the Star Trek: The Next Generation seventh season episode "Homeward". He was born in Brooklyn, New York, and is the father of Academy Award-winning actress (and self-proclaimed Trekkie) Mira Sorvino.
Sorvino is perhaps best recognized for his role as Paul Cicero in the 1990 gangster drama film Goodfellas, which also featured Star Trek: Deep Space Nine guest star Mike Starr. That same year, he played doomed villain Lips Manlis in the popular comic book-based film, Dick Tracy. This film also featured Trek alumni Colm Meaney, Seymour Cassel, Ian Wolfe, John Schuck, Hamilton Camp, Michael J. Pollard, Robert Costanzo, Chuck Hicks, Mike Hagerty, Ed McCready, Bert Remsen, and Walker Edmiston.
Sorvino is also known for his one-and-a-half-year stint as Sergeant Phil Cerreta on TV's Law & Order, with his last nine episodes coming in the third season, one of two in which Carolyn McCormick's otherwise recurring character was a credited cast member. His character's career on the show was started and ended by characters played by fellow TNG guest stars – Vyto Ruginis played the Mob-connected construction worker who murdered the detective Cerreta replaced, while Mark Margolis portrayed the arms dealer who shoots Cerreta in a sting gone bad; he survives, but his injuries cause him to retire from street duty (episode "Point of View").
Although originally aspiring to become an opera singer, Sorvino has built a solid career in films and in television since 1970. He starred in the 1975 CBS comedy series We'll Get By, after which he played the title role in the 1976 drama Bert D'Angelo/Superstar. In 1977, he was seen in the NBC mini-series Seventh Avenue, along with Brock Peters and William Windom.
Sorvino played a reverend in the 1977 comedy Oh, God!, a film which starred Teri Garr and featured the likes of Jeff Corey and David Ogden Stiers. In 1979, he co-starred with a young LeVar Burton in the made-for-TV drama Dummy, which featured Star Trek: Insurrection actor Gregg Henry. Sorvino and Burton both went on to appear in the 1994 TV movie Parallel Lives.
In 1980, Sorvino starred opposite Al Pacino and fellow TNG guest actor Richard Cox in the film Cruising. The following year, Sorvino had a major role in the acclaimed, award-winning drama Reds, with William Daniels, Nicolas Coster, and Jerry Hardin. This film also featured Ian Wolfe (who later appeared in Dick Tracy with Sorvino). In 1983, Sorvino worked with Keith Carradine and Stephen Collins in the CBS mini-series Chiefs. In 1985, Sorvino appeared (as himself) in the drama Turk 182 (which co-starred Kim Cattrall and Tucker Smallwood). During the 1987-88 television season, Sorvino and fellow TNG guest actor Patrick Cronin were regulars on the CBS drama series The Oldest Rookie.
Sorvino co-starred with fellow TNG co-star Terry O'Quinn in 1991's The Rocketeer which starred Billy Campbell in the title role. DS9 actors Tiny Ron and Max Grodénchik and occasional Trek guest star Clint Howard had roles in this film, as well. In 1995, Sorvino gave a memorable performance as Henry Kissinger in the biographical drama Nixon. Star Trek: Voyager star Robert Beltran appeared in this film, playing one of the Watergate burglars. The movie also featured Star Trek guest actors Saul Rubinek, Tony Plana, Bill Bolender, and Victor Rivers. Sorvino's subsequent motion picture credits include William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet, Money Talks, Bulworth, See Spot Run, The Cooler, Mr. 3000, and Repo! The Genetic Opera. Sorvino also lent his voice to the 2002 film Hey Arnold! The Movie, as did Christopher Lloyd and Vincent Schiavelli.
In 2000, Sorvino appeared in The Amati Girls, which featured VOY star Robert Picardo in a small role. That same year, Sorvino began starring in CBS comedy-drama series That's Life, which ran through 2002. Titus Welliver had a recurring role on this series. Sorvino then had a recurring role in the CBS sitcom Still Standing, playing the father of the central character.
In addition to his work in film and television, Sorvino is also an accomplished stage actor. Among his most notable stage works was his performance in the Broadway production, That Championship Season, for which he won a Drama Desk Award in 1972 and was nominated for a Tony Award in 1973.