‘The Sopranos’ Actor Dies at 79

Tony Sirico.
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

A unpleasant goodbye. Tony Sirico, who was identified for participating in Paulie Walnuts on The Sopranos, has died at the age of 79.

“It is with fantastic sadness, but with incredible delight, like and a entire good deal of fond reminiscences, that the loved ones of Gennaro Anthony ‘Tony’ Sirico needs to inform you of his demise on the early morning of July 8, 2022,” the actor’s family explained to Deadline in a assertion on Friday, July 8. A trigger of dying was not promptly disclosed.

Sirico’s manager, Bob McGowan, also verified the information to In Touch, indicating: “Tony was a faithful customer for 25 years, ex-army vet, normally gave to charities and a member of the Wounded Warriors.”

The actor’s former Sopranos costar Michael Imperioli compensated tribute to Sirico by using Instagram, crafting: “It pains me to say that my dear close friend, colleague and spouse in crime, the great TONY SIRICO has passed away currently. Tony was like no 1 else: he was as difficult, as faithful and as huge hearted as any person I have at any time regarded. I was at his aspect by way of so significantly: by means of good moments and lousy. But largely superior. And we experienced a whole lot of laughs.”

The White Lotus star, 56, extra that the duo “found a groove” working alongside one another for the duration of their time on The Sopranos, which ran on HBO from 1999 to 2007. “I am very pleased to say I did a good deal of my finest and most enjoyable perform with my expensive pal Tony,” he continued. “I will skip him endlessly. He is really irreplaceable. I mail appreciate to his relatives, mates and his lots of quite a few followers. He was beloved and will hardly ever be neglected. Heartbroken right now.”

Lorraine Bracco, who appeared on the present as Dr. Jennifer Melfi, echoed Imperioli’s sentiments in her very own Instagram article, sharing a throwback picture of herself making the most of a laugh with Sirico.

“I adore Tony Sirico,” she wrote. “A stand up person who generally had my again and who beloved my small children and my dad and mom. I have a life span of memories with Tony — starting with Goodfellas to The Sopranos and way over and above — but my God, did we have fun executing the Bensonhurst Spelling Bee — I’m still laughing. I hope he’s in heaven cracking everyone up now. Like you, my Pal … relaxation in peace.”

Sirico’s Sopranos character, Peter Paul “Paulie Walnuts” Gualtieri, was a loyal henchman for mob boss Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini). However the present was recognised for its unflinching depiction of violence, Sirico became a enthusiast most loved for introducing moments of humor during the grim drama.

Born on July 29, 1942, Sirico created his film debut as an more in the 1974 motion picture Insane Joe. He went on to play gangsters in a range of films such as Mob Queen, Mighty Aphrodite, Defiance and — potentially most famously — Goodfellas.

Ahead of he started performing, Sirico expended time in jail on a felony weapons charge. He later on said that he made a decision to check out his hand at show business enterprise right after an performing team came to the pay a visit to the “college,” as he identified as it. “They have been a bunch of ex-cons who arrived back again into the place to entertain the fellas,” he instructed Cigar Aficionado in March 2001. “I noticed them, and ideal there and then I understood what I wanted to do. It just hit me. I explained, ‘I can do that.’”

Though the Deconstructing Harry star is now beloved by Sopranos supporters for his do the job as Paulie, he to begin with auditioned for the part of Uncle Junior, which went to Dominic Chianese. Soon after creator David Chase supplied him the position of Paulie in its place, Sirico took the component on the condition that his character would never turn out to be a rat.

“I come from the streets. I been in the Military, I been everywhere,” he told Deadline in January 2019. “I wouldn’t participate in a rat if you place a gun to my head, and if you did set a gun to my head, you improved empty it.”

Sirico was last seen on monitor earlier this calendar year in Regard the Jux. In 2018, he reunited with fellow Sopranos alums Vincent Pastore and Federico Castelluccio in the movie Sarah Q.

The previous Lilyhammer star is survived by daughter Joanne and son Richard, his spouse and children reported, as effectively as grandchildren, siblings, nieces, nephews and many other relations.

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