To quote Junior Soprano, "it comes in threes." Not one day after losing James Caan- who, in addition to a host of classic film roles, played Sonny Corleone in The Godfather– and a few months after losing Ray "Henry Hill" Liotta, we lose Tony Sirico too? Marone, what's happening in the world? Even though Sirico's death was close to a week ago now, I'm still feeling a little blue about it.
Sirico was an accomplished character actor that appeared in an array of films from his debut in 1974 to the present day. However, without question, Sirico's most famous role was that of Paul "Paulie Walnuts" Gualtieri from The Sopranos. Sirico's portrayal of the irascible Paulie Walnuts almost instantly elevated him to the top tier of classic characters in the gangster genre.
A lot of people think of Paulie Walnuts first when they think of Tony Sirico, and I'm not exempt from that camp. However, I'm also a lifelong Family Guy fan, Sirico's role as Vinny the dog also has a special place in my heart. The impetus for Vinny's creation may have been an ill-conceived gimmick, but the character had a short fun run. Through his time on the main cast, Sirico became a friend of the show and was featured on Family Guy a few more times. In the clip below, I linked my favorite Sirico clip from Family Guy.