Actor Tony Sirico — best know for his role as Paulie “Walnuts” Gualtieri in The Sopranos — has died at the age of 79, his family announced Friday.
Michael Imperioli, who shared many scenes with Sirico as Christopher Moltisanti, posted the following remembrance 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. 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.
Sirico and Moltisanti were the lead acts in “Pine Barrens,” the most critically acclaimed episode of the series.
Here are some highlights:
During the build of the show’s 2021 prequel film, The Many Saints of Newark, cast members raved about working with Sirico. He was a fan favorite among Sopranos viewers, as well.
In the series, Paulie is a loyal soldier to Tony Soprano — besides trying to change crime families for a few episodes and occasionally bad-mouthing Tony to his nephew. Paulie is also the show’s biggest mama’s boy.
We look back at a few of his most memorable moments:
Sirico also appeared in Goodfellas, Mighty Aphrodite, Gotti, and Mob Queen.
His family did not release any further details regarding his death.