Actor Tony Sirico, very best recognised for his portrayal of the intelligent-cracking Paul “Paulie Walnuts” Gualtieri on The Sopranos, has died at the age of 79.
“It is with great disappointment, but with unbelievable pleasure, adore and a full lot of fond reminiscences, that the family of Gennaro Anthony ‘Tony’ Sirico Jr. wish to tell you of his dying on the early morning of July 8, 2022,” a submit from Sirico’s brother, Robert Sirico, on Fb examine. A Warner Bros. spokesperson confirmed the authenticity of the article to Rolling Stone. “The family is deeply grateful for the numerous expressions of really like, prayer and condolences and requests that the community regard its privacy in this time of bereavement,” Sirico wrote.
As news of Sirico’s loss of life broke, several of his Sopranos co-stars shared tributes to the beloved character actor.
“We uncovered a groove as Christopher and Paulie and I am happy to say I did a whole lot of my most effective and most pleasurable get the job done with my dear pal Tony,” Michael Imperioli, who played young upstart Christopher Moltisanti on the hit Tv series, wrote in a post on social media. “He was beloved and will in no way be neglected.” Fellow Sopranos cast member Joe Pantoliano also compensated tribute to the late actor. “Tony Sirico was an original in each way,” Pantoliano stated in a statement to Rolling Stone. “How he made me giggle.” Actor Steve Schirripa remembered Sirico as a devoted pal to all who knew him. “Tony Sirico was a person of a sort in all the best means,” he claimed in a statement to Rolling Stone. “A genuinely faithful friend with a reward for making individuals chuckle, particularly me. If you were being fortunate sufficient to be his good friend, you were assured a excellent time any time you have been about him. He will be missed.”
In a assertion to Rolling Stone, Edie Falco also paid respect to her Sopranos co-star. “Tony Sirico was an initial,” mentioned the actress, who played Tony Soprano’s spouse, Carmela Soprano. “There was no one like him deeply faithful and sort. And so funny. It is a heartbreaking decline.”
“I have never ever been in a position to stroll into a place that you have been in with out you offering me an great hug, drenching me in your cologne, and generating certain I understood any gentleman that came close to me would have to response to you initial,” Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who performed Meadow Soprano, said of Sirico on Instagram. “You ended up These kinds of a phenomenal actor. Stealing every scene you had been in. You have been challenging, and powerful, yet sweet and a authentic artist. There will never ever ever be anyone like you.”
“Tony Sirico was a single of the kindest, fiercely loyal, and heartfelt guys that I’ve at any time identified. He was often Uncle Tony to me, and Tony always showed up for me and my spouse and children,” Michael Gandolfini, son of Sopranos star James Gandolfini — and who a short while ago portrayed a young variation of the character his late father manufactured well known in The Quite a few Saints of Newark — wrote in an Instagram post. “I’ll deeply overlook his pinches on my cheek, and his infectious giggle. He was a phenomenal actor and an even improved man. Tony was one of a sort. He touched numerous with his gift and my heart goes out to his loved ones, his buddies, and all of his lovers. We adore you Tony, thank you for all the pleasure you brought to numerous. You will be skipped.”
Born July 29, 1942, Sirico grew up on the mean streets of Brooklyn and was a self-described “rough-and-tumble child,” he told Rolling Stone in a 2001 include tale. A devotee of James Cagney motion pictures, the younger Sirico identified himself drawn to the gangsters he’d see in his community. “They’re all dressed, slicked back, they obtained autos, they acquired women, pretty enticing,” he stated. “I received close to earning a enormous mistake… I just about bought as well near to turning out to be 1 of those people men I portray.” Noticing Sirico had difficulties with authority, a friend refused to sponsor him for membership. “The good detail I had going for me not becoming included profoundly with wiseguys was that I really do not like any one telling me what to do.”
However, Sirico experienced his honest share of brushes with the law. He experienced a bullet wound in his leg after he was noticed kissing a woman that had broken the shooter’s coronary heart. (In real Paulie Walnuts manner, Sirico told Rolling Stone of the incident, “At the time, all I thought about was, ‘Fucking ruined my white fit.’”) Ahead of embarking on his performing occupation, he was arrested 28 occasions and spent two stints in jail. “I acquired 28 arrests and only two convictions, so you gotta admit I have a really superior performing history,” he told The Los Angeles Times in 1990.
Sirico was motivated to pursue acting in the early Seventies though in prison right after a take a look at by an performing troupe composed of ex-criminals. Following a sequence of little bit areas, he finally landed roles in significant movies including Goodfellas, Mighty Aphrodite, The Decide-up Artist and On line casino.
Through his acting occupation, however, Sirico uncovered himself participating in the extremely adult men he admired as a youth. “And do I brain staying stereotyped? Definitely not,” he told Rolling Stone in 2001. “I’ve paid out my rent, I just take care of me and Ma.” He identified lovers in his neighborhood, who had been tricky guys as properly. “They appreciate me for currently being in this demonstrate,” Sirico said of his part in The Sopranos. “I’m nonetheless section of their household in their hearts. They know I’m a stand-up kid, whether I’m a tough person or not.”
From Rolling Stone US.