The Sopranos star Tony Sirico – known as Paulie Walnuts – dead at 79 says co-star Michael Imperioli

The Sopranos star Tony Sirico - known as Paulie Walnuts - dead at 79 says co-star Michael Imperioli 2
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The Sopranos star Tony Sirico – best known for playing Paulie Walnuts – dead at 79 says co-star Michael Imperioli: ‘He was beloved and will never be forgotten’

  • His co-star Michael Imperioli revealed the sad news with an Instagram post on Friday featuring the two of them together
  • The 56-year-old actor – who portrayed Christopher Moltisanti in the iconic HBO series – wrote: It pains me to say that my dear friend, colleague and partner in crime , the great TONY SIRICO has passed away today’ 
  • The American actor’s – born Gennaro Anthony Sirico Jr. – cause of death has yet to be revealed 
  • Imperioli worked closely with Sirico as Christopher was put in charge of Paulie’s crew when he was promoted to underboss in the series 
  • Sirico’s character Paulie was one of the chief henchmen of series protagonist Tony Soprano who was portrayed by the late James Gandolfini 
  • Sirico was born in Brooklyn and as a teenager was part of a real-life street gang. He was once seen associating with Colombo family Caporegime Jimmy ‘Green Eyes’ Clemenza, along with fellow Sopranos actor Vincent Pastor
  •  He served time in jail for robbery and felony arms possession before deciding to give acting a try after being visited by a troupe of reformed convicts behind bars 
  • Following The Sopranos, he has made appearances in Medium and Lilyhammer and voiced characters on Family Guy and American Dad! 
  • He also reprised his Sopranos role in prequel film The Many Saints of Newark which was released last yea 
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Tony Sirico – who is best known for playing Peter Paul ‘Paulie Walnuts’ Gualtieri in The Sopranos – has died aged 79.

His co-star  Michael Imperioli revealed the sad news with an Instagram post on Friday featuring the two of them together.

The 56-year-old actor – who portrayed Christopher Moltisanti in the iconic HBO series – wrote:  It pains me to say that my dear friend, colleague and partner in crime, the great TONY SIRICO has passed away today. 

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'He was beloved and will never be forgotten': Tony Sirico - who is best known for playing Peter Paul 'Paulie Walnuts' Gualtieri in The Sopranos - has died aged 79 according to his co-star Michael Imperioli

‘He was beloved and will never be forgotten’: Tony Sirico – who is best known for playing Peter Paul ‘Paulie Walnuts’ Gualtieri in The Sopranos – has died aged 79 according to his co-star Michael Imperioli

Iconic: Steven Van Zandt, James Gandolfini, and Tony Sirico are seen left to right in season 7 of The Sopranos back in 2007

Iconic: Steven Van Zandt, James Gandolfini, and Tony Sirico are seen left to right in season 7 of The Sopranos back in 2007

‘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.’

The American actor’s – born Gennaro Anthony Sirico Jr. –  cause of death has yet to be revealed.

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DailyMail.com has reached out to Sirico’s representatives for comment.

Legend: The American actor's - born Gennaro Anthony Sirico Jr. - cause of death has yet to be revealed, Sirico is seen at SopranosCon in New Jersey back in November 2019

Legend: The American actor’s – born Gennaro Anthony Sirico Jr. – cause of death has yet to be revealed, Sirico is seen at SopranosCon in New Jersey back in November 2019

Gone too soon: Sirico's character Paulie was one of the chief henchmen of series protagonist Tony Soprano who was portrayed by the late James Gandolfini, they are seen on the series back in March 2006

Gone too soon: Sirico’s character Paulie was one of the chief henchmen of series protagonist Tony Soprano who was portrayed by the late James Gandolfini, they are seen on the series back in March 2006

Imperioli worked closely with Sirico as Christopher was put in charge of Paulie’s crew when he was promoted to underboss in the series. 

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Imperioli wrote: ‘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. I will miss him forever. He is truly irreplaceable. 

‘I send love to his family, friends and his many many fans. He was beloved and will never be forgotten. Heartbroken today. #thesopranos #hbo #tonysirico #pauliewalnuts’

Sirico’s character Paulie was one of the chief henchmen of series protagonist Tony Soprano who was portrayed by the late James Gandolfini.

Legend: Paulie 'Walnuts' Gualtieri was as vicious as he was paranoid, often carrying out hits on his boss' enemies and disloyal friends alike, he is seen in an episode which aired in 2005

Legend: Paulie ‘Walnuts’ Gualtieri was as vicious as he was paranoid, often carrying out hits on his boss’ enemies and disloyal friends alike, he is seen in an episode which aired in 2005

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Paulie ‘Walnuts’ Gualtieri was as vicious as he was paranoid, often carrying out hits on his boss’ enemies and disloyal friends alike.

His loyalty to Tony — and his killing temperament — saw him rise through the ranks to become underboss of the DiMeo crime family. 

Sirico was born in Brooklyn and as a teenager was part of a real-life street gang. He was once seen associating with Colombo family Caporegime Jimmy ‘Green Eyes’ Clemenza, along with fellow Sopranos actor Vincent Pastore.

Wise guys: Steven R. Schirripa, Michael Imperioli, James Gandolfini (1961-2013), Steven Van Zandt and Tony Sirico are pictured left to right in a The Sopranos season 7 promo shot released in 2007

Wise guys: Steven R. Schirripa, Michael Imperioli, James Gandolfini (1961-2013), Steven Van Zandt and Tony Sirico are pictured left to right in a The Sopranos season 7 promo shot released in 2007

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He served time in jail for robbery and felony arms possession before deciding to give acting a try after being visited by a troupe of reformed convicts behind bars.

He initially tried out for the role of Junior, but was was persuaded into taking on Paulie on one condition — the character would never become a snitch.

Following The Sopranos, he has made appearances in Medium and Lilyhammer and voiced characters on Family Guy and American Dad!

He also reprised his Sopranos role in prequel film The Many Saints of Newark which was released last year

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Squad: Paulie 'Walnuts' Gualtieri was as vicious as he was paranoid, often carrying out hits on his boss' enemies and disloyal friends alike

Squad: Paulie ‘Walnuts’ Gualtieri was as vicious as he was paranoid, often carrying out hits on his boss’ enemies and disloyal friends alike

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