The Sopranos Star Tony Sirico Passes Away, Age 79

Beloved actor Tony Sirico (born Gennaro Anthony Sirico Jr.), who was best known for his role as Peter Paul "Paulie Walnuts" Gualtieri in HBO's modern classic & award-winning series The Sopranos, has passed away at the age of 79. Over the course of his nearly 50-year career, Sirico's television roles also included Police Squad!, Chuck, Medium, and (our personal favorite) Family Guy (as Vinny, the Griffin family's new dog after Brian was briefly dead). On the film side, his career would begin with 1974's Crazy Joe and go on to include Goodfellas, Dead Presidents, Casino, Cop Land, and many more. "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," the family said in a statement. No cause of death is no at this time, but Sirico was reportedly suffering from ailing health. The actor is survived by his two children, Joanne Sirico Bello and Richard Sirico, grandchildren, siblings, nieces, nephews, and other relatives.

LODI, NJ – OCT. 1: Tony Sirico, known as Paulie Walnuts in The Sopranos, poses for a photograph outside the Bada Bing on October 1, 2003 in Lodi, NJ. (Eugene Parciasepe/

Here's a look at what actor and Sirico's The Sopranos co-star Michael Imperioli had to say about the actor's passing on Instagram earlier today:

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.

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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