Camille Saviola, an actress known for her work on shows like “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” “Entourage,” “Younger” and in roles on Broadway, has died. She was 71.
“After a brief illness, Camille passed from heart failure,” Alyssa Romeo, Saviola’s great niece, told TheWrap.
Saviola played religious leader Kai Opaka in four episodes of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” and her passing was first noted by a “Star Trek” Wiki page, as well as mourned on social media by actors and colleagues like Harvey Fierstein, Kelly Briggs and Wilson Cruz.
Fierstein hailed her as the “Italian Godmother of Soul” in his tribute, while Cruz noted the indelible “presence” that she left on the industry. See their tweets below.
Saviola was also known for playing Turtle’s mom on the HBO series “Entourage,” appearing in three episodes opposite actor Jerry Ferrara. She most recently starred in four episodes of the series “Younger.”
On Broadway, she appeared in productions of “Nine” and “Chicago,” and she won a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Distinguished Featured Performance in 2003 for her work in a production called “The House of Bernarda Alba.”
Born in New York City and coming from Italian heritage, Saviola graduated from the High School of Music and Art in Manhattan but later dropped out of college to pursue acting and front a female rock band in 1970 called the Margo Lewis Explosion. Her film debut came in 1984 when she appeared in Woody Allen’s “Broadway Danny Rose” as an unnamed character, and she also appeared in Allen’s “The Purple Rose of Cairo” and was cut from “Radio Days.”
Some of Saviola’s other credits include the series “The Heights,” “Addams Family Values,” “Judging Amy,” “First Monday” and “Nip/Tuck.”