Tony Sirico, best known for his performance as mobster Paulie Walnuts Gualtieri on The Sopranoswould have died at the age of 79.
The Sopranos actor Tony Sirico dies aged 79
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sirico died Friday at an assisted living facility in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., according to his manager of 25 years, Bob McGowan. No cause of death was revealed, but Sirico had suffered from dementia for two years. “Not only was he a loyal customer, but he was also a good friend,” McGowan told THR.
Sopranos Co-star Michael Imperioli paid tribute to the famous actor on Instagram, writing, “It pains me to say that my dear friend, colleague and partner in crime, the great TONY SIRICO passed away today. Tony was like no one else: he was as tough, as loyal and as big-hearted as anyone I’ve ever known.
He continued, “I was by his side through so much: through the good times and the bad. But mostly good. And we laughed a lot. We found a rhythm as Christopher and Paulie and I’m proud to say I did a lot of my best and funniest work with my dear friend Tony. I will miss him forever. He is truly irreplaceable. Sending love to his family, friends and many fans. He was loved and will never be forgotten. Heartbroken today.
Sirico was also cast outside the mold of gangsters, playing police officers in movies. dead presidents and Deconstruct Harry. Among his other credits were Woody Allen films, including Bullets on Broadway and Mighty Aphroditeand appearances in television series, including miami vice and voice roles on family guy and American Dad! His most recent work includes the film Respect the Jux.
The Sopranos Creator David Chase also paid tribute to Sirico with a statement that read, “Tony was a gem. The way Buddhists refer to a jewel – supernatural and master. But certainly not a Zen master. He was so loud, so funny, so talented. I am very happy for him that in his mid-50s and 60s he finally learned how talented and loved he was. I was just thinking about him yesterday, strangely enough, and remembered that he was one of the main reasons for the success of The Sopranos. I will miss him very much, Gennaro. Like the world.
Sirico is survived by his daughter Joanne Sirico Bello; son Richard Sirico; his brother, Robert Sirico.
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