LOS ANGELES — Tony Sirico, who performed the impeccably groomed mobster Paulie Walnuts in “The Sopranos” and introduced his tough-guy swagger to movies together with “Goodfellas,” died Friday. He was 79.
Sirico died at an assisted residing facility in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, stated his supervisor, Bob McGowen. There was no rapid info on the reason for loss of life.
An announcement from Sirico’s household confirmed the loss of life of Gennaro Anthony “Tony” Sirico “with nice disappointment, however with unbelievable delight, love and an entire lot of fond recollections.”
McGowan, who represented Sirico for greater than 20 years, recalled him as “loyal and giving,” with a powerful philanthropic streak. That included serving to ex-soldiers’ causes, which hit residence for the Military veteran, his supervisor stated.
Steven Van Zandt, who performed reverse Sirico as fellow mobster Silvio Dante on “The Sopranos,” saluted him on Twitter as “legendary.”
“A bigger than life character on and off display screen. Gonna miss you a large number my pal,” the actor and musician stated.
Michael Imperioli, who portrayed Christopher Moltisanti on “The Sopranos,” known as Sirico his “expensive pal, colleague and accomplice in crime.”
“Tony was like nobody else: he was as robust, as loyal and as massive hearted as anybody i’ve ever identified,” Imperioli stated on Instagram.
Sirico was unconcerned about being solid in a string of unhealthy man roles, McGowan stated, most prominently that of Peter Paul “Paulie Walnuts” Gualtieri within the 1999-2007 run of the acclaimed HBO drama starring James Gandolfini as mob boss Tony Soprano. (Gandolfini died in 2013 at age 51).
“He didn’t thoughts taking part in a mob man, however he wouldn’t play an informant,” or as Sirico put it, a “snitch,” McGowan stated.
Sirico, born July 29, 1942, in New York Metropolis, grew up within the Flatbush and Bensonhurst neighborhoods the place he stated “each man was making an attempt to show himself. You both needed to have a tattoo or a bullet gap.”
“I had each,” he instructed the Los Angeles Occasions in a 1990 interview, calling himself “unstable” throughout that interval of his life. He was arrested repeatedly for prison offenses, he stated, and was in jail twice. In his final stint behind bars, within the Nineteen Seventies, he noticed a efficiency by a bunch of ex-convicts and caught the appearing bug.
“I watched ’em and I believed, ‘I can try this.’ I knew I wasn’t unhealthy trying. And I knew I had the (guts) to face up and (bull) individuals,” he instructed the Occasions. “You get quite a lot of observe in jail. I used to face up in entrance of those cold-blooded murderers and kidnapers — and make ’em snicker.”
Sirico additionally was solid exterior the gangster mould, taking part in law enforcement officials within the movies “Useless Presidents” and “Deconstructing Harry.” Amongst his different credit have been Woody Allen movies together with “Bullets over Broadway” and “Mighty Aphrodite,” and appearances on TV collection together with “Miami Vice” and voice roles on “Household Man” and “American Dad!”
Sirico is survived by daughter Joanne Sirico Bello; son Richard Sirico; his brother, Robert Sirico, a priest; and different kinfolk.
Story by Lynn Elber