Sun. Aug 7th, 2022

Tony Sirico, The Sopranos, died

Sad news to report this evening as Tony Sirico, best known for playing Paul “Paulie Walnuts” Gualtieri on The Sopranos, has died at the age of 79.

Tony Sirico’s friend and colleague Michael Imperioli took to Instagram to reveal the news. “It pains me to say that my dear friend, colleague and partner in crime, the great TONY SIRICO has passed away today,” Imperioli wrote. “Tony was like no one else: he was as tough, as loyal and as big hearted as anyone i’ve ever known. I was at his side through so much: through good times and bad. But mostly good. And we had a lot of laughs. We found a groove as Christopher and Paulie and I am proud to say I did a lot of my best and most fun work with my dear pal Tony. I will miss him forever. He is truly irreplaceable. I send love to his family, friends and his many many fans. He was beloved and will never be forgotten. Heartbroken today.” Sirico had originally auditioned for the role of Uncle Junior on The Sopranos and although he obviously didn’t get the part, creator David Chase offered him the role of Paulie. Sirico accepted on the condition that the character never turn out to be a rat. A younger version of Paulie played by Billy Magnussen appeared in The Many Saints of Newark.

Much like the character he portrayed on The Sopranos, Tony Sirico’s early life growing up in Brooklyn was surrounded by crime. Before he turned to acting, he had been arrested close to 30 times. “I was very unstable,” Sirico told the LA Times in 1990. “I wasn’t thinking right. So I hooked up with these guys and all of a sudden I’m a stick-up artist. I stuck up every nightclub in New York.” After serving 20 months at Sing Sing for a felony weapons possession, he was visited by an acting troupe of ex-convicts who inspired him to try his hand at the craft. Sirico went on to appear in movies such as Goodfellas, Innocent Blood, Bullets over Broadway, Dead Presidents, Mighty Aphrodite, Deconstructing Harry, Cop Land, Mickey Blue Eyes, Café Society, and more. He also appeared in TV shows such as Kojak, Police Squad, Miami Vice, The Fairly Oddparents, Chuck, Medium, Lilyhammer, Family Guy, The Grinder, and American Dad. You will be missed, Tony Sirico.

By admin