Tony Sirico, Paulie Walnuts on ‘The Sopranos,’ Dead at 79

by Joe Rutland

Actor Tony Sirico, who played Paulie “Walnuts” Gualtieri on the famed TV show The Sopranos, has died at 79 years old. Actor Michael Imperioli shared the news with the world, according to a tweet from IndieWire. “We found a groove as Christopher and Paulie and I am proud to say I did a lot of my best and most fun work with my dear pal Tony,” Imperioli writes. “He was beloved and will never be forgotten.”

Sirico also was known for his appearances in the film work of Woody Allen. But it would be in his role as Paulie that TV viewers around the world would fall in love with him. The Sopranos ran for six seasons on HBO and starred James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, and Steven Van Zandt.

Tony Sirico Manager Calls Him ‘Very Loyal And Great Client’

Sirico’s manager Bob McGowan called him “a very loyal and great client” who “would always help people in need. He was [a] member of the wounded warriors.” That’s according to Variety. Imperioli would add on Instagram, “It pains me to say that my dear friend, colleague and partner in crime, the great TONY SIRICO has 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. I was at his side through so much: through good times and bad. But mostly good. And we had a lot of laughs.”

Tony Sirico was born on July 29, 1942, in Brooklyn, New York, according to IMDb. Other work also includes the movie Goodfellas alongside the late Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci. Another film in his resume’ was Mighty Aphrodite. But his early work would find him on TV in a 1977 episode of the CBS police drama Kojak starring Telly Savalas. In Goodfellas, he played Tony Stacks. The Sopranos ran between 1999-2007 and, as we said, would become a fan favorite. Paulie Walnuts was one of those characters who would attract a lot of attention from viewers.

Sirico brought that out on TV screens. But he also lent his voice to two popular animated series, Family Guy and American Dad! His most recent work included an appearance in the project Respect the Jux. On Family Guy, he would voice a character named Vinny but also would appear as himself in one episode, too. He had three projects either announced or completed at this time. They were All Mobbed Up, Street Justice, and Super Athlete. The fans of The Sopranos and other work from Sirico’s career have been pouring out their remembrances and good thoughts online on Friday. He will be missed by many people who have watched the show for a long time.