Sopranos star Tony Sirico dead at 79

Actor Tony Sirico, best known as menacing weirdo Paulie "Walnuts" Gualtieri in The Sopranos, died Friday at 79. His brother posted the news to 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 wishes to inform you of his death on the morning of July 8, 2022. ​Tony is survived by his two beloved children, Joanne Sirico Bello and Richard Sirico, grandchildren, siblings, nieces, nephews and many other relatives. ​A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated by his brother Fr. Robert Sirico at the Basilica of Regina Pacis (1230 65th Street, Brooklyn, NY) on Wednesday morning, July 13 at 10:30am.

Michael Imperioli:

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.

The line between Tony and Paulie was thin, acquaintances write. Perhaps little more than the professional restraint of someone who escaped what he was but remained content to perform it for a living.