Tony Sirico, an American actor best known for portraying ‘Paulie Walnuts’ Gualtieri in the HBO classic series The Sopranos, has died at age 71.
Sirico’s brother, Robert Sirico, a Catholic priest, confirmed the actor’s death.
Tony received high praise from fans for his authentic portrayal of an Italian mobster and won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series twice, in between numerous nominations.
How did Tony Sirico die?
He died at age 79 at an assisted living facility in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on July 8, 2022, according to his longtime manager Bob McGowan.
“Not only was he a loyal client, he was a good friend,” McGowan said to The Hollywood Reporter.
No cause or manner of death was given. However, Sirico had been diagnosed with dementia several years before his death.
On Facebook, his brother Robert revealed he will host the Mass of Christian burial at the Basilica of Regina Pacis in Brooklyn, New York, on Wednesday morning, July 13, at 10:30 am.
Sirico updated the Facebook post, offering Tony fans the opportunity to say goodbye to the television star.
“Our family has been literally inundated with many, many kind expressions of admiration for my brother Tony’s work in film and TV. We are especially grateful for the promises of prayer and support from all over the world, he wrote, continuing:
“We are arranging for a live stream of the funeral Mass Wednesday, July 13th at 1030am from the Basilica of Regia Pacis in Brooklyn, Please stay tuned to this space for a link.”
Tributes pour in for Tony Sirico
Tony Sirico frequently found himself on the wrong side of the law before he found acting. His charismatic portrayal as Paulie Walnuts in six seasons of The Sopranos made him a fan favorite.
Tony’s character was a hilarious hothead that rose from soldier to capo due to his willingness to commit crimes and his loyalty to the late James Gandolfini’s Tony Soprano.
The Sopranos star Michael Imperioli, who worked closely with Tony as Christopher Moltisanti led tributes, sharing a photo of the pair on Instagram.
Many fans shared their favorite memories of his acting career, mostly clips from The Sopranos.
A fan shared a classic Christopher and Paulie moment.
Another fan shared a funny photo in which Paulie finds a creative way to get an even tan.
Another tribute put Tony Sirico’s performance as Walnuts as one of the best in television.
Steven Van Zandt who starred as Silvio Dante in The Sopranos and Frank Tagliano in Lilyhammer paid tribute to his frequent co-star in the late actor.
Tony is survived by his two children, Joanne Sirico Bello and Richard Sirico, and his grandchildren.