According to his family, Tony Sirico, who played the beloved but murderous gangster Paulie Walnuts on HBO’s “The Sopranos” and was frequently cast in Woody Allen films, died at the age of 79. Sirico played a significant role in the HBO drama that premiered in 1999 and quickly became a critical and commercial success at the dawn of the era of high-end television.
Sirico had appeared in six Woody Allen films between 1994 and 2016, but he was unknown before his big role as a captain in Tony Soprano’s crime family, played by the late James Gandolfini. Steely criminal Paulie Walnuts demonstrated occasional benevolence but were always faithful to the boss. He was known for his silly comic relief with malapropisms.
An imposing figure on and off the screen. Steven Van Zandt, a co-star of The Sopranos, said that he was going to miss him a lot. Sirico had a brief role in Martin Scorsese’s iconic and critically acclaimed 1990 film “Goodfellas,” in which he played an Italian-American mobster. In the animated series “Family Guy,” Sirico voiced Vinny, a talking dog.
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Bullets Over Broadway in 1994, Mighty Aphrodite in 1995, Everyone Says I Love You in 1996, Deconstructing Harry in 1997, and Celebrity in 1998 are just a few of his Woody Allen credits. “It is with great sadness, but with incredible pride, love and a whole lot of fond memories, that the family of Gennaro Anthony ‘Tony’ Sirico wishes to inform you of his death on the morning of July 8, 2022,” his brother, Robert Sirico, a Roman Catholic priest, uploaded to Facebook.
His brother said that he left behind two children and an unknown number of grandchildren, siblings, nieces, nephews, and other relatives. When he died on July 8 at an assisted-living home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Mr. Sirico was 79 years old. Robert Sirico, a Catholic priest in Michigan, revealed his brother’s death in a statement. He was said to have dementia.
According to IMDB.com, Sirico was sentenced to 20 months in jail in the early 1970s for a gun charge. In 1974, he appeared in “Crazy Joe,” a film about Mafia boss Joey Gallo. However, it was in the David Chase-created HBO series that he made his name.
“When I first read David Chase’s script, I knew this was something special,” Sirico is quoted as saying on IMDB. “This is what I’d been looking for all my life. … I knew right away this was a role to kill for.” Stay tuned with us only on Lee Daily