Tony Sirico, Sopranos actor who played Paulie Walnuts, dies aged 79

Sopranos actor Tony Sirico, who played Paulie “Walnut” Gualtieri on the hit HBO show, has died aged 79, his family has announced.

The actor, who appeared in all six seasons of The Sopranos alongside James Gandolfini and Edie Falco, died Friday morning at an assisted living facility in Fort Lauderdale, in Florida.

Sirico also starred in other gangster movies and shows including Lilyhammer, A Bronx Tale and Goodfellas.

A statement posted on Facebook by brother Robert Sirico thanked fans for their condolences and requested confidentiality following the news.

“With great sadness, but with pride, love and so many unbelievable memories, the family of Gennaro Anthony ‘Tony’ Sirico looks forward to informing you of his death on the morning of July 8th, 2022,” the statement read.

“The family is extremely grateful for the many expressions of love, prayers and condolences and asking the public to respect their privacy during this bereavement.”

Sirico is survived by her two children, Joanne Sirico Bello and Richard Sirico, grandchildren, siblings, nieces, nephews and many other relatives.

A Christian burial, celebrated by his brother, will take place on Wednesday, July 13 in Brooklyn, New York.

Memorial donations can be made in honor of the Wounded Warriors, St Jude’s Hospital and the Acton Institute, where Sirico was a major contributor.

Sirico’s manager Bob McGowan also confirmed the actor’s death to the PA news agency, saying he “doesn’t resemble his character in Sopranos”.

“He’s been a very loyal customer for 25 years and is a former vet and has always contributed to charities,” McGowan told PA.

“He is a big contributor to Wounded Warriors and always goes to the children’s hospital.

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“He’s a great guy, nothing like his character on Sopranos.”

Mr McGowan said the actor had suffered from dementia and for the last few years of his life “couldn’t remember everything”.

Sirico’s Sopranos co-stars, including Michael Imperioli, Lorraine Bracco and Jamie-Lynn Sigler, paid tribute to the “really irreplaceable” actor.

Imperioli, who plays Christopher Moltisanti on the show, said he was “heartbroken” and that he was proud of having done “a lot of my best work” with Sirico.

“Tony is like no other: he’s tough, loyal, and has a big heart like anyone I’ve ever known,” he posted on Instagram.

“We found an opportunity in the roles of Christopher and Paulie and I am proud to say that I did a lot of the best and most enjoyable work with my best friend Tony.

“I will miss him forever. He is truly irreplaceable. I send love to his family, friends and so many fans.

Bracco, who plays Dr. Jennifer Melfi, said she had “a lifetime of memories” with Sirico.

“I adore Tony Sirico,” she wrote, sharing two photos of the couple together.

“A guy who always stands up, who always supports me and loves my children and parents.”

Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who plays Meadow Soprano, said Sirico was “tough and strong, but sweet and a real artist” and that she was “lucky to know” him.

“I could never have walked into the room you’ve been in without you holding me tight, drenching me with your perfume, and making sure I knew any man that came near me would have to answer you first,” she said.

“You are tough, strong but sweet and a true artist. There will never be anyone like you. “

Sirico was born on July 29, 1942 in New York.

Before acting, he was convicted of many crimes and arrested more than 20 times.

His past is said to have influenced his acting career and he is best known for playing lovable characters in films.

As well as Sopranos and Goodfellas, he has appeared in Mob Queen, Mighty Aphrodite, Love and Money, Fingers, The One Man Jury, Defiance, The Last Fight and Innocent Blood, among others.

He also played a police officer in the films Dead President and Deconstruct Harry.

More recently in 2013, he appeared in three episodes of the American animated series Family Guy as the voice of Vinny Griffin, the family pet dog who replaced Brian Griffin after his death. Tony Sirico, Sopranos actor who played Paulie Walnuts, dies aged 79

Fry Electronics Team

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