The news was shared by his Sopranos co-star Michael Imperioli on his Instagram page.
“It pains me to say that my dear friend, colleague and accomplice, the great TONY SIRICO, passed away today. Tony was like no other: he was as tough, as loyal and as big-hearted as anyone else I have ever known. I’ve been by his side through so much: through good times and bad. But mostly good ones. And we had a lot of laughs,” wrote Imperioli.
“We found a groove as Christopher and Paulie and I’m proud to say I’ve done a lot of my best and funniest work with my dear pal Tony,” Imperioli’s post continued. “I will miss him forever. He really is irreplaceable. Sending love to his family, friends and his many, many fans. He was loved and will never be forgotten. Heartbroken today.”
Fr. Robert Sirico, Tony’s brother, confirmed his death in a Facebook post. Tony Sirico is survived by two children, Joanne Sirico Bello and Richard Sirico, “grandchildren, siblings, nieces, nephews and many other relatives,” according to his brother.
“The family is deeply grateful for the many expressions of love, prayers and condolences and urges the public to respect their privacy at this time of grief,” Robert Sirico wrote.
Sirico has appeared in every season of The Sopranos, playing Tony Soprano’s loyal mobster. Sirico played the witty confidante throughout the show from 1999 to 2007. The character became a fan favorite for his witty lines and signature hairstyle.
Sirico also appeared in the mob film Goodfellas.
After The Sopranos ended, Sirico continued to act and guest-star on other shows, including a mini-arc on the animated sitcom Family Guy, in which he portrayed the talking dog Vinny.
ABC News contributed to this report.
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https://6abc.com/tony-sirico-dead-obituary-the-sopranos-paulie-walnuts/12033607/ Tony Sirico dies: Actor known as Paulie Walnuts on ‘The Sopranos’ was 79