Death of Tony Sirico, star of the “Sopranos”, at the age of 79

Tony Sirico, star of the “Sopranos” ;âage 79

DAY

LOS ANGELES | American actor Tony Sirico, best known for playing Paulie “Walnuts” Gualtieri in “The Sopranos”, has died at the age of 79, his family and a former colleague announced Friday. < /p>

Sirico played minor gangster roles in television and film for decades before being cast in his fifties as the eccentric and sometimes brutal Paulie, becoming one of the most memorable characters in the series.

“It is with great sadness, but incredible pride, love and many fond memories that the family of Gennaro Anthony “Tony” Sirico would like to inform you of his passing on the morning of July 8, 2022,” said his wife. family in a statement on Facebook.

Another 'Soprano' star, Michael Imperioli, added: 'It pains me to say that my dear friend, colleague and partner in crime, the great Tony Sirico passed away today”.

“Tony was like no one else: he was as tough, as loyal and as big as anyone I have ever known. (I) am heartbroken today,” wrote Imperioli, who played Christopher Moltisanti, on Instagram.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1942, Sirico was frequently arrested in his youth, but caught the comedy bug in prison after watching a troupe of ex-convicts perform.

He played several small roles as a hoodlum beginning in the late 1980s. 1970, appearing in shows like “Kojak” and “Miami Vice,” and mob-themed movies including “Goodfellas” and “Mickey Blue Eyes.”

Sirico was in his fifties when he was cast for his best-known role in 'The Sopranos,' HBO's groundbreaking series that explored the private lives of a New Jersey criminal group.

His character Paulie delivered many of the most memorable lines in the series, displaying both playful humor and vicious loyalty to boss Tony Soprano.