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Tony Sirico, ‘Sopranos’ star, dead at 79

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CNN
 — 

Actor Tony Sirico, who’s greatest recognized for enjoying henchman Peter Paul “Paulie Walnuts” Gualtieri on HBO’s “The Sopranos,” has died, in accordance with his supervisor Bob McGowan.

He was 79, in accordance with his IMDB profile.

McGowan didn’t present a explanation for loss of life, however known as Sirico a “very loyal and long-term shopper” of 25 years and somebody who “at all times gave to charity.”

Sirico’s “Sopranos” co-star Michael Imperioli additionally shared the information on Instagram, saying Sirico died on Friday.

“Tony was like nobody else: he was as powerful, as loyal and as massive hearted as anybody i’ve ever recognized,” he wrote. “I used to be at his aspect via a lot: via good occasions and unhealthy. However principally good. And we had numerous laughs.”

Sirico, a Brooklyn native, amassed a number of credit within the late ’80s and ‘90s, showing in movies like “Goodfellas,” “Mighty Aphrodite,” and “Mickey Blue Eyes.”

However he grew to become well-known – significantly in households with cable – via “The Sorpanos,” taking part in the colourful however brutal-when-necessary Paulie Walnuts.

On the time of his audition, he recalled in a single interview, he was 55 and sleeping on his mom’s sofa. He’d auditioned for a special character, however creator David Chase approached him with a special position, that turned out to be iconic in its personal proper.

“He stated, ‘You need the excellent news or the unhealthy information?’” Sirico recalled in a 2021 interview. “I stated, ‘Give me the unhealthy information.’ He stated, ‘You didn’t get Uncle Junior. However I’ve one thing in thoughts. Would you be keen to do a recurring position on the present? I’ve a personality known as Paulie Walnuts.’”

After the present ended, Sirico appeared in exhibits like “Lilyhammer,” “The Grinder” and “Household Man.”

However “Sorpanos” – thanks partially to the present’s renewed reputation via streaming – remained his most memorable work.

“We discovered a groove as Christopher and Paulie and I’m proud to say I did numerous my greatest and most enjoyable work with my expensive pal Tony,” Imperioli added. “I’ll miss him endlessly. He’s actually irreplaceable. I ship like to his household, associates and his many many followers. He was beloved and can by no means be forgotten. Heartbroken right now.”

Michael Gandolfini, son of late “Sopranos” star James Gandolfini, additionally paid tribute to Sirico on Instagram.

“Tony Sirico was one of many kindest, fiercely loyal, and heartfelt males that I’ve ever recognized,” he wrote. “He was at all times Uncle Tony to me, and Tony at all times confirmed up for me and my household. I’ll deeply miss his pinches on my cheek, and his infectious snicker. He was an outstanding actor and a good higher man.”