Tony Sirico, the actor best known for playing the mobster Peter Paul “Paulie Walnuts” Gualtieri on “The Sopranos,” has died at age 79.
His manager, Bob McGowan, confirmed the news with Variety on Friday, calling him “a very loyal and great client” who “would always help people in need.”
His “Sopranos” co-star Michael Imperioli, who played the mobster Christopher Moltisanti, also shared the news in a heartfelt Instagram post.
“Tony was like no one else: he was as tough, as loyal and as big hearted as anyone i’ve ever known,” he wrote. “I was at his side through so much: through good times and bad. But mostly good. And we had a lot of laughs. We found a groove as Christopher and Paulie and I am proud to say I did a lot of my best and most fun work with my dear pal Tony. I will miss him forever. He is truly irreplaceable. I send love to his family, friends and his many many fans. He was beloved and will never be forgotten. Heartbroken today.”
No cause of death has been shared publicly.
Along with his “Sopranos” cast members, Sirico was nominated seven times for a Screen Actors Award for an ensemble performance in a drama series and won twice. He appeared in nearly every episode of the six-season series on HBO, which many critics regard as one of the greatest television shows of all time.
Sirico, born Gennaro Anthony Sirico Jr. in New York City in 1942, lived a real life of crime before playing a mobster on TV. He was arrested several times for disorderly conduct, assault and robbery, and he was imprisoned for nearly two years before taking up acting in 1974. In addition to his role on “The Sopranos,” he played gangsters in more than a dozen films.
His last major on-screen appearance was as the mobster Angelo in Woody Allen’s 2017 film “Wonder Wheel.”
Sirico’s death comes a day after that of James Caan, another actor known for playing a mobster, for his role in “The Godfather.”
He was preceded in death by “The Sopranos” lead actor, James Gandolfini, in 2013.
“He was one of my best friends in life,” Sirico said of Gandolfini upon his death. “We visited Iraq and Afghanistan together. He was like family to me. I love him. I miss him already.”
Sirico and Gandolfini spent time together visiting wounded veterans and troops abroad in the early 2000s.
“They loved seeing us, and we loved hanging out with them. Me and Jimmy couldn’t hug enough of them,” Sirico said of his and Gandolfini’s visits with service members.
Soruce : https://www.huffpost.com/entry/tony-sirico-sopranos-dead_n_62c8b862e4b02e0ac9142190