Remembering one of their own. The cast of The Sopranos shared touching tributes to their late costar, Tony Sirico, in the wake of his death at the age of 79.
“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,” the New York native’s family told Deadline in a statement on Friday, July 8. According to the outlet, Sirico — best known for playing Paul ‘Paulie Walnuts’ Gualtieri on The Sopranos — was suffering from poor health in the years leading up to his death, though a cause of death has not yet been confirmed.
The actor’s former Sopranos costar, Michael Imperioli, also confirmed the tragic news while honoring his friend and colleague. “Tony was like no one else: he was as tough, as loyal and as big-hearted as anyone I’ve ever known,” the Goodfellas actor, who played Christopher Moltisanti, wrote via Instagram at the time. “I was at his side through so much: through good times and bad. But mostly good. And we had a lot of laughs.”
He continued: “We found a groove as Christopher and Paulie and I am proud to say I did a lot of my best and most fun work with my dear pal Tony. I will miss him forever. He is truly irreplaceable. … He was beloved and will never be forgotten.”
Steve Scrippa, who portrayed fellow gangster Bobby Bacala on the beloved HBO drama, shared a picture of himself and Sirico dressed as Bert and Ernie via Instagram, writing, “Tony Thank You For All The Laughs My Friend. Rest In Peace.”
Lorraine Bracco, who worked with Sirico multiple times over the course of her career, also remembered the happy moments she shared with the late actor in a tribute post of her own. “I have a lifetime of memories with Tony — starting with Goodfellas to The Sopranos and way beyond — but my God, did we have fun doing the Bensonhurst Spelling Bee,” the Rizzoli and Isles alum, 67, wrote via Instagram on Friday. “I’m still laughing. I hope he’s in heaven cracking everybody up now.”
Though he never worked with Sirico, Blondie guitarist Chris Stein also shared his memories of the late actor on social media, revealing that they grew up in the same neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. “He was a local legend even back then. He hung around Artie’s Pool Hall on Ave J,” the musician wrote via Twitter. “He ripped off my squad and me for 50 bucks for weed. True story.”
Keep scrolling to see more tributes to the late Sopranos star: