Tony Sirico, ‘Sopranos’ Paulie Walnuts, Recalls: ‘One of the Greatest’


Tony Sirico’s death sparked an outpouring of tributes from fans, colleagues and others who brought back fond memories of the beloved actor for playing the bad guys.

Sirico’s death was announced earlier Friday in social media posts by the actor’s family and close friends. New York native Sirico, 79, was best known for his portrayal of Italian gangsters, including a role in HBO’s legendary crime drama. The Sopranos.

Michael Imperioli, who played Christopher Moltisanti in the iconic series, said in an Instagram post on Friday that he was “heartbroken” by Sirico’s death, calling the actor “truly irreplaceable.”

“Tony was like no one else: he was as tough, as loyal and as big as anyone I’ve ever known,” Imperioli said in the post. “I was by his side through so much: through the good times and the bad. But mostly the good times. And we laughed a lot. We found a rhythm as Christopher and Paulie and I’m proud to say that i did a lot of my best and funniest job with my dear friend Tony.i will miss him forever.

Tony Sirico is fondly remembered on Twitter after his death was announced on Friday. Sirico, right, and Michael Imperioli, left, are pictured attending ‘The Sopranos’ 20th Anniversary Roundtable at SVA Theater on January 9, 2019 in New York City.
Théo Wargo/Getty Images Europe

After appearing in several Woody Allen films and gangster films, including the 1990 film FreedmenSirico stepped into his best known role in the critically acclaimed film Sopranoswhich premiered in 1999 and ran for six seasons.

Sirico played Peter Paul “Paulie Walnuts” Gualtieri, a badass badass mob boss Tony Soprano, overpowered by the late James Gandolfini. Sirico said in a 2001 interview with cigar lover that he drew on his experience watching “mafia-like people” while growing up in the Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn, saying “it was a miracle I didn’t end up like them.”

Twitter lit up with memories of Sirico, including his cameo on sesame street and role on Family guy.

Comedian Kevin Banner wrote in a tweet: “His portrayal of Paulie Walnuts in The Sopranos was one of the greatest things in television history.”

“As someone who just fell in love with the SOPRANOS this year, I’m not ready to say goodbye to the Paulie Walnuts,” Daily Dead News editor Heather Wixson wrote in a tweet. “I knew Tony Sirico from a ton of other stuff, but it was Paulie where I totally connected with Sirico. His track on Family Guy is also a timeless thing. RIP sir.”

“One of the most vivid memories I have is of Tony Sirico strutting towards me with a few big guys around him. ‘Hey you…I like you.'” He seemed to like the weird cards that life was handing him,” the policy said. commentator Keith Olbermann wrote in a tweet.

Robert Sirico, Tony Sirico’s brother, said in a Facebook post that the actor “is survived by his two beloved children, Joanne Sirico Bello and Richard Sirico, grandchildren, siblings, nieces, nephews and many other parents.

Twitter user @JakeElman97 wrote in a tweet that he hoped Sirico and Gandolfini were “hunting interior designers in the next life”, a reference to a beloved episode of the series.

Newsweek contacted Sirico’s agent for comment.




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