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The Sopranos Cast Pays Tribute to Tony Sirico: 'He is Truly Irreplacable'

Sirico, who played Paulie Walnuts on the mob drama, died Friday at the age of 79.
  • Tony Sirico in the final season of The Sopranos (Photo: HBO Max)
    Tony Sirico in the final season of The Sopranos (Photo: HBO Max)

    The cast of The Sopranos is mourning the loss of Tony Sirico, who died Friday at the age of 79. Sirico was best known for playing eccentric mobster "Paulie Walnuts" Gualtieri on the HBO drama, appearing in nearly every episode.

    Sirico's brother, Robert Sirico, announced his death in a Facebook post on Friday. "​It is with great sadness, but with incredible pride, love and a whole lot of fond memories, that the family of Gennaro Anthony 'Tony' Sirico wishes to inform you of his death on the morning of July 8, 2022," he wrote.

    "The family is deeply grateful for the many expressions of love, prayer and condolences and requests that the public respect its privacy in this time of bereavement," he added.

    Shortly after news of Sirico's death broke, his Sopranos co-stars took to social media to pay tribute to the titan.

    "Tony was like no one else: he was as tough, as loyal and as big hearted as anyone I've ever known," Michael Imperioli, who played Christopher Moltisanti, wrote on Instagram. "I was at his side through so much: through good times and bad. But mostly good."

    "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," continued Imperioli. "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."


    A post shared by @realmichaelimperioli

    Lorraine Bracco, who also appeared with Sirico in Goodfellas, described him as "a stand up guy who always had [her] back." She added, "I have a lifetime of memories with Tony — starting with Goodfellas to The Sopranos and way beyond ... I hope he's in heaven cracking everybody up now."

    "Oh Tony. I'm so heartbroken. I loved you so much," wrote Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who shared many scenes with Sirico as Tony's (James Gandolfini) daughter Meadow Soprano.

    "You were SUCH a phenomenal actor. Stealing every scene you were in. You were tough, and strong, yet sweet and a real artist. There will never ever be anyone like you."

    Michael Gandolfini, son of the late James Gandolfini and star of prequel film The Many Saints of Newark, shared a childhood photo of him and Sirico, writing, "He was always Uncle Tony to me, and Tony always showed up for me and my family."

    Beyond his work on The Sopranos, Sirico was known for roles in Goodfellas, in which he played Tony Stacks, and multiple Woody Allen films, including Mighty Aphrodite, Everyone Says I Love You, Celebrity, and Café Society.

    R.I.P. Tony Sirico. You will be missed.

    Claire Spellberg Lustig is the Senior Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.

    TOPICS: Tony Sirico, The Sopranos, David Chase, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Lorraine Bracco, Michael Gandolfini, Michael Imperioli