Tony Sirico who played Paulie Walnuts Gualtieri on the hit show on HBO has passed away. As announced by his family members. The actor has appeared in all six seasons of the show along with James Gandolfini. His 25-year-old manager, Bob McGowan has informed the Hollywood reporter that Tony passed away in an assisted living facility in Fort Lauderdale, and was living with dementia for a couple of years now.
A statement was posted on Facebook by his brother Robert Sirico which said, “It is with great sadness, incredible pride, love and a whole fond of memories, that the family of Gennaro Anthony ‘Tony’ Sirico wishes to inform you of his death on the morning of July 8, 2022. The family is deeply grateful for the many expressions of love, prayer, and condolences and requests that the public respects its privacy in this time of bereavement.’’
His Sopranos co-star Michael Imperioli paid tribute to Tony through Instagram calling him ‘‘a dear friend, colleague, and partner in crime.’’ He also said that Tony was like no one else. He was tough, as loyal, and as big-hearted as anyone he had ever known. He had been there by Tony’s side both in good and bad times. But mostly in good ones for sure. They had a lot of laughs while shooting together.
They had found a groove while playing Christopher and Paulie and he is proud to say that he did a lot of his best work aside from his pal Tony. And that he misses him. The American actor was best known for his role in Peter Paul ‘Paulie Walnuts’ Gaultier in the famous series The Sopranos which aired from 1999 till 2007.
Sirico was born in 1942 in New York City and played the roles of gangsters throughout his career in films which include Goodfellas, Cop Land, and Mickey Blues. He recently appeared in Woody Allen Films which included Destructing Harry, Celebrity, Bullets over Broadway, Mighty Aphrodite, Everyone says I love you, and Wonder Wheels the iconic ones. Tony had originally auditioned for the character of Uncle Junior in The Sopranos, but Dominic Chianese landed up with the part. And the show’s maker David Chase offered Tony the role of Paulie Gualtieri and which was accepted by Sirico only with a condition that his character wouldn’t become a rat.
Sirico survived with his two children Joanne Sirico Bello and Richard Sirico. His family also includes grandchildren, siblings, nephews, nieces, and other relatives.
We offer our condolences to the legendary actor. Rest in peace Tony Sirico.
Sources: Theguardian.com, Northwalespioneer.co.uk, Mirror.co.uk