Tony Sirico

Last updated

Tony Sirico
Tony Sirico, 2010.jpg
Sirico in 2010
Born
Gennaro Anthony Sirico Jr.

(1942-07-29) July 29, 1942 (age 78)
NationalityAmerican
OccupationActor
Years active1974–present
Children2
Family Robert Sirico (brother)

Gennaro Anthony Sirico Jr. ( /ˈsɪrik/ ; born July 29, 1942) [1] is an American actor best known for his role as Peter Paul "Paulie Walnuts" Gualtieri in The Sopranos . He has also made numerous appearances in the films of Woody Allen.

Contents

Early life

Sirico was born in New York City on July 29, 1942. [1] He grew up in Brooklyn, in the East Flatbush and Bensonhurst neighborhoods. [2] Sirico's brother, Robert Sirico, is a Catholic priest and co-founder of the free-market Acton Institute. [3]

Sirico was convicted of several crimes and had been arrested 28 times, including for disorderly conduct, assault, and robbery, before taking up acting. [2] [4] On February 27, 1970, he was arrested at a restaurant, and found with a .32 caliber revolver on his person. In 1971, he was indicted for extortion, coercion and felony weapons possession, convicted, and sentenced to four years in prison, of which he served 20 months at Sing Sing. [5] [6] [7] According to a court transcript at the time of his sentencing, Sirico was the owner of a discotheque in Manhattan, and also had pending charges for criminal possession of a dangerous drug. [5] Sirico has stated that he was visited by an acting troupe composed of ex-convicts during his imprisonment, which inspired him to give acting a try. [8] He appeared in the 1989 documentary The Big Bang by James Toback, in which he discussed his earlier life. [9]

Career

Sirico's first confirmed role in film was as an extra in the 1974 film Crazy Joe , who had secured the role with the help of Richard Castellano. [7] Michael Gazzo was Sirico's first acting coach. [10] Sirico has played gangsters in a number of films, including Goodfellas , Mob Queen , Mighty Aphrodite, Love and Money , Fingers , The One Man Jury , Defiance , The Last Fight, Innocent Blood , Bullets over Broadway , The Pick-up Artist , Gotti , The Search for One-eye Jimmy , Cop Land , Turn of Faith, Hello Again , and Mickey Blue Eyes .

He also played policemen in the films Dead Presidents and Deconstructing Harry . Sirico's most acclaimed acting job was that of Paulie Gualtieri in David Chase's Emmy award winning drama, The Sopranos . He originally auditioned for the role of Uncle Junior with Frank Vincent, but Dominic Chianese landed the role. David Chase instead offered him the role of playing Paulie Gualtieri; Sirico agreed under the condition that his character would not "become a rat". [7]

In late 2013, he voiced the character of Vinny Griffin, who for three episodes was the family's pet dog on Family Guy , replacing Brian Griffin after his death; Brian would later be brought back via time travel. [11] Sirico also made a live-action cameo in the episode "Stewie, Chris, & Brian's Excellent Adventure", where he threatens Stewie, who had insulted Italians, calling them "ridiculous people". Vinny would return in a cameo appearance at the end of the Season 15 premiere, "The Boys in the Band".

In 2018, he reunited with former Sopranos actors, Federico Castelluccio and Vincent Pastore, in Sarah Q. [12]

Personal life

Sirico (left) and James Gandolfini (right) with a member of the U.S. Air Force during a USO visit to Southwest Asia SopranosKuwaitUSO.jpg
Sirico (left) and James Gandolfini (right) with a member of the U.S. Air Force during a USO visit to Southwest Asia

In 1999, Sirico and Sopranos co-star Vincent Pastore met with James Clemenza and his brother Jerry, Colombo crime family soldiers, at a Christmas party in Little Italy, Manhattan. Clemenza was under FBI surveillance at the time. [13]

In 2008, Sirico released a cologne called Paolo Per Uomo. [14]

Filmography

Film

YearTitleRoleNotesRef.
1974 Crazy Joe N/AN/A [15]
1978Hughes and Harlow: Angels in HellFrankie RioN/A
Fingers RiccamonzaN/A [2] [16]
The One Man Jury Charlie NutsN/A
1980 Defiance DaveyN/A
1981 So Fine AssociateN/A
1982 Love & Money RaoulN/A [17]
1983 Exposed ThiefN/A [18]
The Last FightFrankieN/A [2]
1987The Galucci BrothersGalucci BrotherN/A
The Pick-up Artist Patsy CabalusoN/A [2]
Hello Again Tough GuyN/A
1989White HotLukeN/A
Cookie Carmine's WiseguyN/A [2]
The Big Bang Himself Documentary [9]
1990 Catchfire Greek GuyN/A [19] [18]
Goodfellas Tony StacksN/A [15]
1991 29th Street FortunadoN/A [10]
1992 Innocent Blood JackoN/A [20]
1993New York CopMr. CN/A
Romeo Is Bleeding MalacciN/A [21]
1994Men LiePorno WitnessN/A [22]
Bullets over Broadway RoccoN/A [15]
The Search for One-eye Jimmy SnakeN/A [23]
1995 Dead Presidents Officer SpinelliN/A [24]
Mighty Aphrodite Boxing TrainerN/A [10]
Casino Extra (Mickey's crew: signal happy gambler)N/A
Dearly BelovedMr. Bedutz Short film [25]
1996 Everyone Says I Love You Escaped ConvictN/A [10]
1997 Deconstructing Harry Police OfficerN/A [24]
Cop Land Toy TorilloN/A [10]
The Deli TonyN/A [10]
The Good Life JuniorNever released [26]
1998 Mob Queen Joey (The Heart) AortaN/A [10]
Celebrity Lou DeMarcoN/A [10]
1999 Mickey Blue Eyes Risolli GuardN/A [27]
2000It Had to Be YouRicky ValentinoN/A [10]
2001 Smokin' Stogies Tony BattsN/A
2002 Turn of Faith JimmyN/A
2008The Sno Cone Stand IncBob BeasleyN/A
2009Karma CallingGN/A
2010SkateSkate Short film
2013Super AthleteCoach LouN/A
Zarra's LawTony ZarraN/A [24]
Family on BoardRocco Short film
2014 Friends and Romans Bobby MussoN/A
2015TouchedAnthonyN/A
2016 Café Society VitoN/A
2017 Wonder Wheel AngeloN/A
2018Sarah QMr Danny(post-production)
TBARespect the JuxBobby(post-production)
2019Street JusticeJohnny(pre-production)
Made in ChinatownAl Capella(pre-production)

Television

YearTitleRoleNotesRef.
1977 Kojak Greek GodEpisode: "Case Without a File"
1982 Police Squad! Poker PlayerEpisode: "Ring of Fear (A Dangerous Assignment)"
1989 Miami Vice Frank RomanoEpisode: "Fruit of the Poison Tree"
Perfect Witness Marco Television film
1992In the Shadow of a KillerTony AndrettiTelevision film
1996 Cosby TeddyEpisode: "Happily Ever Hilton"
Gotti Joe DimigliaTelevision film [10]
1998 Witness to the Mob Thomas Gambino Television film
VigLocassoTelevision film
1999–2007 The Sopranos Paul "Paulie Walnuts" Gualtieri 86 episodes
2005 The Fairly OddParents Big Daddy2 episodes
2007 Sesame Street Bert TV special [28]
2008 A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa Mobster TV special
2010 Chuck MattyEpisode: "Chuck Versus the Fake Name"
Medium Big DaddyEpisode: "Bring Your Daughter to Work Day"
2012 Jersey Shore Shark Attack Captain SalieTelevision film [24]
2013–2014 Lilyhammer Tony TaglianoEpisodes: "2.8: Ghosts" and "3.8: Loose Ends"
2013 Nicky Deuce Charlie CementTelevision film
2013–2016 Family Guy Vinny Griffin/Himself Voice
Episodes: "Life of Brian", "Into Harmony's Way", "Christmas Guy",
"The Boys in the Band", and
"Stewie, Chris & Brian's Excellent Adventure" (Live Action)
2014 Taxi Brooklyn TonyEpisode: "Revenge"
2016 The Grinder SebastianEpisode: "Grinder v Grinder"
2017 American Dad! Enzo PerottiEpisode: "Garbage Stan"

Video games

YearTitleRoleNotes
2006 The Sopranos: Road to Respect Paulie "Walnuts" Gualtieri Voice

Awards and nominations

YearAwardCategoryTitle of workResult
2000 Screen Actors Guild Award Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series The Sopranos Won
2001 Screen Actors Guild Award Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2002 Screen Actors Guild Award Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2003 Screen Actors Guild Award Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2005 Screen Actors Guild Award Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2007 Screen Actors Guild Award Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2008 Screen Actors Guild Award Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Won

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Paulie Gualtieri

Peter Paul "Paulie Walnuts" Gualtieri is a fictional character portrayed by Tony Sirico on the HBO series The Sopranos, one of the chief henchmen of series protagonist Tony Soprano. Sirico originally auditioned for the role of Uncle Junior with Frank Vincent, but Dominic Chianese landed the role. David Chase instead offered him the role of playing Paulie Gualtieri; Sirico agreed under the condition that his character would not "become a rat." Paulie begins the series as a soldato, later becoming a caporegime and eventually underboss of the DiMeo crime family. He is violent, impulsive, and paranoid, but he is also fiercely loyal to Tony, making him a valued member of the organization.

Frances Esemplare, professionally credited as Frances Ensemplare, was an American actress best known for her multi-episode recurring role as Marianucci "Nucci" Gualtieri, mother of Paulie Gualtieri on The Sopranos from 2001 until 2007.

References

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