Tony Sirico of ‘Sopranos’ fame dies at 79

According to his manager, Bob McGowan, Sopranos star Tony Sirico has become the latest member of that cast to pass away at the age of 79.

McGowan confirmed Sirico’s death but didn’t give any details about a cause, CBS News reported.

“A great, loyal client,” McGowan told CBS News. “He would do anything to help people in need.”

A famous role

ABC News also tweeted about the actor’s death.

As ABC News noted, Sirico famously played mobster “Paulie Walnuts” Gualtieri opposite Tony Soprano on the show.

Being a working actor in New York is a feat in and of itself, but for Sirico, it was nothing short of miraculous.

A transformation

Sirico grew up on the streets of New York City and was reportedly arrested at least 28 times during those years for crimes ranging from armed robbery to disorderly conduct and illegal weapons charges.

“After all the times I was pinched, I knew every judge in town,” Sirico said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “I was a tough kid, I always had that itch in my britches to find out who I was. I tested my (courage) every night.”

“I feel good about what I’ve accomplished,” Sirico told the LA Times in 1990. “I came from another world – and now I’m an actor. Not a big-shot star, but a legitimate actor.”

Interestingly, Sirico played a person who led a life of crime even though Sirico himself no longer did.

Sirico’s brother, Robert Sirico, also announced the actor’s death on Facebook, writing that he was announcing Sirico’s death “with great sadness, but with incredible pride, love and a whole lot of fond memories.”

 

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