Tony Sirico, who was a constant scene stealer on “The Sopranos” as mobster Paulie Walnuts, has passed away at the age of 79…
Tony Sirico, star of “The Sopranos” and “Goodfellas,” died on Friday at the age of 79.
Sirico’s friend and castmate Michael Imperioli first revealed his passing in an Instagram post.
“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 got into acting in the mid-1970s after much of his early life was spent breaking the law as he’s famously addressed in many past interviews. Sirico was reportedly arrested 28 times including several stints in prison.
He eventually got into acting before landing several roles in Woody Allen films as well as a small part in Martin Scorsese’s seminal gangster flick “Goodfellas.”
Of course, Sirico’s most memorable performance came when he landed the part of Paulie “Paulie Walnuts” Gualtieri in the hit series “The Sopranos.” Sirico was one of the few actors alongside James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, Lorraine Bracco and Michael Imperioli to appear in every season of the series.
Sirico was often times a scene stealer when playing Paulie, who was often times just as comical as he was menacing while playing a mid-level gangster in the North Jersey mob. Perhaps Sirico’s best performance came in “The Sopranos” season 3 during the episode titled “Pine Barrens” when a botched hit on a Russian ends up with Paulie and Christopher lost in the woods in the middle of winter.
Of course, Sirico also delivered some of the most iconic lines in the history of “The Sopranos” as well while working with actors like Gandolfini and Imperioli. Several of Sirico’s co-stars on “The Sopranos” paid tribute to him on Friday.
Sirico is survived by his two children and several grand children.