Tony Sirico Dies: Lorraine Bracco Emotionally Tributes Her ‘Sopranos’ Costar

by Joe Rutland

Actress Lorraine Bracco shared some tender-hearted words about her friend and fellow The Sopranos star Tony Sirico, who died Friday. News broke that Sirico, who famously played Paulie Walnuts on the HBO series, died at 79 years old. Bracco played psychiatrist Jennifer Melfi on the show. She had a number of memorable scenes with James Gandolfini, who played Tony Soprano, there. Let’s take a look at what Bracco wrote in memory of Sirico.

Bracco shares a couple of photos from her Instagram account. One looks like she and Sirico are sharing a laugh, while another one appears to be from The Sopranos. Sirico was much loved by fans. They would go on Twitter on Friday and share their own memories and clips of Paulie setting things straight. Michael Imperioli, who played Christopher on The Sopranos, was one of the first people to publicly pay homage to Sirico.

Tony Sirico Tributes Also Come From Steve Schirripa, David Chase

Later, Steve Schirripa, who played Bobby Baccalieri in the HBO series, also remembered his costar. Schirripa, who stars these days in Blue Bloods as Anthony Abetemarco, shared a sweet photo of them together. It appears to have been taken on the set of the long-running PBS show Sesame Street. Sirico and Schirripa are hanging out with another pair of tough characters, Bert and Ernie. Fans get a chance to see Sirico hamming it up as his “eyebrows” become a uni-brow sort of look. He’s making light of Bert’s rather lengthy eyebrow situation.

Tributes also would pour in from a very important person: David Chase, who created The Sopranos. “The way Buddhists refer to a jewel – supernatural and a master,” Chase would write in a statement according to The Hollywood Reporter. “But certainly not a Zen master. He was so uproarious, so funny, so talented. I was just thinking about him yesterday, strangely enough, and was reminded that he was a main reason for the success of ‘The Sopranos.’ I will miss him greatly, Gennaro. As will the world.”

Tony Sirico would definitely have some of the show’s most memorable lines. At times, Paulie could provide some humorous levity among the world of mobsters. You never knew what would pop out of his mouth. But the character that he brought to life also would find life in the world of animation. Sirico not only played a character named Vinny but also himself in episodes of Family Guy starring Seth McFarlane. He also showed up as a voice talent on American Dad! as well. When an actor creates a memorable character like Paulie Walnuts, then he’s not going to be forgotten anytime soon. Sirico went from a real life of crime into being a well-respected actor and individual.