On the HBO show, Sirico played “Paulie Walnuts” Gualtieri.
Tony Sirico has died. He was best known for playing “Paulie Walnuts” Gualtieri on The Sopranos. He was 79.
Sirico died on Friday at an assisted living facility in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, according to Bob McGowan, the man who had been his manager for the past 25 years. No one said what caused Sirico’s death, but he had been sick with dementia for a few years.
“He was a good friend and a loyal customer,” McGowan told The Hollywood Reporter.
On the HBO show, Sirico played “Paulie Walnuts” Gualtieri, a close friend of James Gandolfini’s character Tony Soprano.
On Instagram, his Sopranos co-star Michael Imperioli wrote, “It hurts me to say that my dear friend, co-worker, and partner in crime, the great TONY SIRICO, died today. Tony was unlike anyone else I’ve ever met. He was tough, loyal, and had a big heart.
He went on, “I was with him through many things, both good and bad. Mostly good, though. We laughed a lot, too.
We got into a good rhythm as Christopher and Paulie, and I’m proud to say that I did some of my best and most fun work with my dear friend Tony. I will always miss him. He can’t be replaced in any way. I love his family, his friends, and all of his fans. He was loved by many, and no one will ever forget him. Today, I’m very sad.”
Sirico was born in New York City on July 29, 1942. He joined the Army before becoming an actor in the 1970s. Sirico’s first role was in the drama Crazy Joe, which starred Henry Winkler and came out in 1974.
Sirico was also well-known for his parts in movies like “Goodfellas,” “Cop Land,” and “Mickey Blue Eyes.” He worked with Woody Allen a lot. He was in Allen’s movies Bullets Over Broadway, Mighty Aphrodite, Everyone Says I Love You, Deconstructing Harry, Celebrity, and Wonder Wheel, among others.
In five episodes of Family Guy, he did the voice of Vinny Griffin, the family’s dog for a short time. Sirico also had recurring roles on Lilyhammer on Netflix and was a voice on American Dad! He has also been on Miami Vice, Chuck, Medium, Taxi Brooklyn, and The Grindr, among other shows.
The movie Respect the Jux is one of his most recent projects.
David Chase, who made The Sopranos, wrote a statement about Sirico: “Tony was a jewel, how Buddhists talk about a jewel: as something that is supernatural and a master. But not a Zen master for sure.
He was so funny, so talented, and so funny. I’m very happy for him that he finally realized how talented and loved he was when he was in his 50s and 60s. Strangely enough, I was thinking about him yesterday and was reminded that he was a big part of why The Sopranos was so popular. Gennaro, I will miss him a lot. So will everyone else.”