A bitter farewell. The Sopranos character Paulie Walnuts was portrayed by Tony Sirico, who passed away at the age of 79. ‘Sopranos’ Cast and Other Stars React to Tony Sirico’s Death at 79 The actor’s family informed Deadline of his passing on July 8, 2022, in a statement on Friday, July 8. “It is with great sadness, but with incredible pride, love, and a whole lot of fond memories, that the family of Gennaro Anthony ‘Tony’ Sirico wishes to inform you of his death,” the actor’s family said. The cause of death wasn’t made known right away.
Tony was a devoted customer for 25 years, a former army veteran who frequently donated to charities, and a member of the Wounded Warriors, according to Sirico’s boss, Bob McGowan, who also verified the story to In Touch.
Michael Imperioli, the actor’s former Sopranos co-star, paid tribute to Sirico on Instagram, writing: “It hurts me to say that the great TONY SIRICO passed away today. He was my good friend, colleague, and partner in crime. Tony was unique among people; he was the most courageous, devoted, and kind person I’ve ever known. I went through so much with him, both the good and the bad. but generally speaking, positive. We laughed a lot as well.
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The Sopranos, which aired on HBO from 1999 to 2007, said the pair “discovered a groove” working together, according to The White Lotus star, 56. He stated, “I am glad to say that I accomplished a lot of my greatest and most enjoyable work with my close friend Tony. “I’ll always miss him. He cannot be replaced, genuinely. I send my love to his loved ones, close friends, and countless fans. He was adored and will always be remembered. Today, heartbroken.
In her own Instagram post, Lorraine Bracco, who played Dr. Jennifer Melfi on the programme, mirrored Imperioli’s comments and included a vintage image of herself laughing with Sirico. She wrote, “I adore Tony Sirico.” “A moral man who loved my parents and kids and always had my back. My God, did we have fun competing in the Bensonhurst Spelling Bee; I’m still smiling. I have a lifetime of memories with Tony, beginning with Goodfellas and continuing with The Sopranos and much beyond. I’m hoping he’s now making everyone laugh in heaven. I love you, pal, and I wish you peace.
Peter Paul “Paulie Walnuts” Gualtieri, who appeared in Sirico’s Sopranos portrayal, was a devoted enforcer of mobster Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini). Despite being renowned for its brutal depictions of violence, Sirico won over viewers by injecting humour into the sombre drama. Sirico, who was born on July 29, 1942, appeared in his first movie as an extra in Crazy Joe in 1974. Later, he played gangsters in several movies, including Mob Queen, Mighty Aphrodite, Defiance, and — probably most notably — Goodfellas.
Sirico served time behind bars for a felony weapons offence prior to starting his acting career. He then claimed that an acting troupe had visited the “college,” as he termed it, before he made the decision to try his hand at show business. He said to Cigar Aficionado in March 2001 that “They were a group of ex-cons that came back into the place to entertain the guys.” “I saw them, and I knew what I wanted to do immediately. I just realised it. I responded, “I can do that.
The Deconstructing Harry actor initially tried out for the role of Uncle Junior, which Dominic Chianese ultimately won. However, he is now adored by Sopranos viewers for his portrayal as Paulie. Sirico agreed to take the position on the condition that his character would never turn into a rat when creator David Chase offered him the role of Paulie instead.
“I’m a street person. I’ve been in the Army and have seen the world, he told Deadline in January 2019. “If you put a pistol to my head, I wouldn’t play a rat, and if you did, you better empty it.” Sirico last appeared on screen in Respect the Jux earlier this year. In the 2018 movie Sarah Q, he reconnected with Federico Castelluccio and Vincent Pastore, two other former Sopranos cast members.
According to his family, the former Lilyhammer star is survived by his daughter Joanne, son Richard, grandchildren, brothers, nieces, nephews, and a large extended family.