Tony Sirico who played iconic Paulie Walnuts on The Sopranos dead at 79 as co-star's mourn shocking loss on Twitter | The Sun

TONY Sirico, well-known for playing Paulie Walnuts on The Sopranos, has died.

Sirico appeared on the hit HBO series alongside Michael Imperioli, who released a statement acknowledging his co-star's passing.




Imperioli shared a photo of himself and Tony Sirico on Instagram, writing that he is "heartbroken."

'It pains me to say that my dear friend, colleague and partner in crime, the great TONY SIRICO has passed away today," Imperioli wrote in the caption.

"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.

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"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's character, Paulie "Walnuts," was a captain in the mob family, and served as Tony Soprano's right-hand man.

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Sirico was born on July 29, 1942, in Brooklyn, New York.

Like many of his co-stars, Sirico appeared in Goodfellas before becoming part of the Sopranos cast.

While continuing to play the various mob boss in TV shows and movies, Sirico also found steady work as a voiceover artist.

Sirico appeared in a number of Woody Allen films, including Bullets Over Broadway, Mighty Aphrodite, and Cafe Society.

He can also be heard playing various characters on shows like Family Guy and American Dad.

Sirico was 79 years old.

A cause of death has not been revealed.

His brother, Robert Sirico, shared a tribute post on Facebook.

"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 Jr. wish to inform you of his death on the morning of July 8, 2022."

'ONE OF A KIND'

Friend and fan tributes continue to pour in for the beloved actor.

Michael Gandolfini, son of late Sopranos star James Gandolfini, shared a tribute on his Instagram page.

"Tony Sirico was one of the kindest, fiercely loyal, and heartfelt men that I’ve ever known.

"He was always Uncle Tony to me, and Tony always showed up for me and my family.

"I'll deeply miss his pinches on my cheek, and his infectious laugh. He was a phenomenal actor and an even better man.

"Tony was one of a kind. He touched many with his gift and my heart goes out to his family, his friends, and all of his fans.

"We love you Tony, thank you for all the joy you brought to many. You will be missed."

Fans are also sharing their heartbreak across social media.

"R.I.P. Tony Sirico, a f**king legend. A real-life gangster who cleaned up his life, took several small parts in New York gangster movies (including Tony Stacks in Goodfellas), and then got the role of a lifetime as Paulie Walnuts. This week sucks," one fan tweeted.

"Damn. RIP Tony Sirico aka Paulie. He gave us one of the best characters in tv-shows history," tweeted another.

"RIP Tony Sirico. Great character actor and absolutely brilliant in the Sopranos," another fan wrote.

"RIP Tony Sirico. Paulie Walnuts was my favorite character on my favorite show ever. So much depth and humor to him. God bless those whitewalls," wrote another fan.

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"Paulie Walnuts, one of the funniest characters on the Sopranos and my favorite. Absolutely legendary acting from Tony Sirico. Will be dearly missed," someone else said.

The Sun has reached out to Sirico's manager for comment.

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