Tony Sirico, Who Played a Gangster on 'The Sopranos,' Dies at 79

Tony Sirico, the entertainer who played the offbeat criminal Paulie Walnuts on "The Sopranos," dies on Friday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He was 79.

His demise was affirmed by Bob McGowan, his administrator. No reason was given.

Paulie Walnuts — which was Paul Gualtieri's moniker since he once seized a truck loaded with nuts (he was expecting TVs) — was one of the crowd manager Tony Soprano's most steadfast, oversensitive and foolish men. Paulie was the sort of fellow who might take part in a mediation for a medication fiend, and when it was his chance to talk, hit the person directly upside the head. He cherished his mom (despite the fact that he figured out she was actually his auntie), and she adored him since he composed the checks to keep her in a costly nursing home.

Paulie wore jogging outfits, laid down with prostitutes, was phobic about microbes, despised felines and sat in front of the TV in a seat covered with plastic. He detested being left with a nearly $900 café check yet could see the value in a scrumptious ketchup bundle on a cool night in the Pine Barrens when there was nothing else to eat.

When the "Sopranos" cast showed up in a gathering shot on the front of Rolling Stone in 2001, Paulie remained with a homerun stick nonchalantly threw over his right shoulder. No stylist on the "Sopranos" set was permitted to contact Mr. Sirico's hair — dim and rich with two silver "wings" on one or the other side. He blow-dried and showered it himself.

Mr. Sirico's face was likewise natural, in speedy looks, to fanatics of Woody Allen films. He showed up in a few of them, starting with "Shots Over Broadway" (1994), in which he played the right-hand man of a strong hoodlum turned theater maker. He was a confining mentor "Powerful Aphrodite" (1995), a got away from convict in "Everybody Says I Love You" (1996), a self evident reality prison cop in "Dismantling Harry" (1997) and a weapon hauling hoodlum on Coney Island in "Awe Wheel" (2017).

Gennaro Anthony Sirico Jr. was brought into the world in Brooklyn on July 29, 1942, the child of Jerry Sirico, a stevedore, and Marie (Cappelluzzo) Sirico. Junior, as he was called, recalled that he originally caused problems when he took nickels from a newspaper kiosk. He went to Midwood High School, yet didn't graduate, his sibling Robert Sirico said.

"I experienced childhood in Bensonhurst, where there were a ton of crowd type individuals," he told the distribution Cigar Aficionado in 2001. "I watched them constantly, watched the manner in which they strolled, the vehicles they drove, the manner in which they moved toward one another. There was an air about them that was extremely charming, particularly to a youngster."

He worked in development for some time yet before long respected enticement. "I began running with some unacceptable kind of folks, and I ended up doing a great deal of terrible things," he said in James Toback's narrative "The Big Bang" (1989). Awful things like outfitted theft, blackmail, intimidation and lawful offense weapons ownership.

While serving 20 months of a four-year sentence at Sing, the greatest security jail in Ossining, N.Y., he saw a company of entertainers, every ex-convict, who had made a stop there to perform for the prisoners. "At the point when I watched them, I shared with myself, 'I can do that,'" he told The Daily News in 1999.

He was an uncredited extra in "The Godfather: Part II" (1974) and made his authority movie debut in "Hughes and Harlow: Angels in Hell" (1977), from Larry Buchanan, oneself declared overseer of schlock. Mr. Sirico followed that with over 10 years of little TV and film jobs, covered by his part as the showy mobster Tony Stacks in "Goodfellas" (1990).

His most memorable supporter among chiefs was Mr. Toback, who put him in a wrongdoing show, "Fingers" (1978), with Harvey Keitel; a heartfelt dramatization, "Love and Money" (1981), featuring Ray Sharkey and Klaus Kinski; and a comic show, "The Pick-Up Artist" (1987), with Molly Ringwald and Robert Downey Jr., as well as the narrative.

Previously "The Sopranos," he was a cop in "Dead Presidents" (1995), a rural mobster in "Cop Land" (1997) and a Gambino wrongdoing family capo in the TV film "Gotti" (1996).

Once "The Sopranos" hit the air in 1999, it turned out to be tremendously and generally well known. Mr. Sirico before long realized he was extremely well known. "On the off chance that I'm with five other Paulies," he told The New York Times in 2007, envisioning what is going on, "and someone hollers, 'Hello, Paulie,' I know it's for me."

After the HBO series finished in 2007, he frequently worked with his "Sopranos" co-stars.

In the wake of playing Bert, to Steve Schirripa's Ernie, in a "Sesame Street" Christmas unique (2008), he showed up with Steven Van Zandt in the series "Lilyhammer" (2013-14), with Michael Rispoli in "Companions and Romans" (2014) and with Vincent Pastore and others in the film "Sarah Q" (2018).

He likewise voiced a road savvy canine named Vinny in the enlivened series "Family Guy" (2013-16).

He showed up in a wrongdoing show, "Regard the Jux," this year.

Mr. Sirico wedded and separated early. He is made due by two kids, Joanne Sirico Bello and Richard Sirico; a sister, Carol Pannunzio; two siblings, Robert Sirico and Carmine Sirico; and a few grandkids. He lived in Fort Lauderdale.

He brought no less than one outstanding illustration from the crowd world to "The Sopranos." He demanded that his personality never be depicted as a rodent, somebody who might squeal on his wrongdoing family. He was likewise hesitant to have his personality kill a lady — Paulie covered a more established nursing home occupant with a pad when she intruded on his robbery of her life reserve funds — however was wonderfully shocked that individuals in the old area didn't like to assume less of him after the episode was shown.

Right off the bat, notwithstanding, it some of the time escaped his attention that he had dismissed the clouded side.

"I was this 30-year-old ex-con reprobate sitting in a class loaded up with new confronted, serious show understudies," Mr. Sirico reviewed in the Daily News interview. The educator "hung over to me after I did a scene and murmured, 'Tony, leave the firearm home.' After such countless long periods of pressing a weapon, I didn't actually acknowledge I had it with me."

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