Tony Sirico, famed “Sopranos” actor, dies at age 79

Tony Sirico, famed “Sopranos” actor, dies at age 79
FILE PHOTO: Actor Tony Sirico
Actor Tony Sirico attends an HBO premiere function in New York, May well 5, 2012.

Andrew Burton / REUTERS

Actor Tony Sirico, most effective recognized for his memorable switch as mobster “Paulie Walnuts” Gualtieri on “The Sopranos,” has died at the age of 79, his supervisor instructed CBS Information on Friday.

“A terrific, faithful shopper,” supervisor Bob McGowan wrote. “He would do nearly anything to aid men and women in need.”

McGowan did not offer a trigger of death. 

McGowan also despatched CBS Information a Fb article from Sirico’s brother, Robert Sirico, who wrote that he was asserting Sirico’s demise “with wonderful sadness, but with remarkable pride, enjoy and a entire ton of fond recollections.” 

Sirico was born in Brooklyn in 1942. In accordance to his IMDB profile, he 1st appeared on display screen in 1977 and rose to prominence yrs later on for his roles in movies like “Goodfellas.” But his key break came in “The Sopranos,” in which he played “Paulie Walnuts” Gualtieri, a fiery, loyal and sick-tempered soldier to New Jersey mob manager Tony Soprano, performed by the late James Gandolfini. The smart-cracking Walnuts was violent and frequently ruthless.   

In a 2019 job interview with the cast, Sirico mentioned that “The Sopranos” creator David Chase was so impressed with his audition for a diverse role, that of an 80-12 months-previous guy, that Chase produced the character of Paulie Walnuts specially for him.

“When I went in at first to audition for David, he looked at me, he claimed, ‘sit there.’ He place a hat on me. The strains ended up, ‘these youngsters nowadays.’ I am enjoying an 80-yr-outdated male,” Sirico mentioned.

Michael Imperioli, who performed Christopher Moltisanti on “The Sopranos,” honored Sirico on Instagram. “Tony was like no a single else: he was as tough, as faithful and as large hearted as anybody i’ve at any time recognised,” he wrote. 

“I will overlook him without end,” Imperioli wrote. “He is really irreplaceable.” 

Actress Lorraine Bracco, who starred with Sirico in each “Goodfellas” and “The Sopranos,” paid out tribute as effectively Friday, calling him “a stand up male who generally had my back and who loved my small children and my moms and dads.”

“I hope he is in heaven cracking most people up now,” she added. “Adore you, my Pal…rest in peace.” 

Sirico is survived by his two children, Joanne Sirico Bello and Richard Sirico, as properly as grandchildren, siblings, nieces, nephews and numerous other kin, Sirico’s brother explained. 

Even though the spouse and children asked for privacy, Sirico’s brother reported donations could be sent to Wounded Warriors, St. Jude’s Medical center and the Acton Institute.

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