Tony Sirico

Last updated

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

(1942-07-29)July 29, 1942 [1]
DiedJuly 8, 2022(2022-07-08) (aged 79)
OccupationActor
Years active1974–2022
Children2
Family Robert Sirico (brother)

Gennaro Anthony Sirico Jr. ( /sɪˈrik/ ; July 29, 1942 – July 8, 2022) [2] was an American actor. He was best known for his role as Paulie "Walnuts" Gualtieri in The Sopranos . He also made numerous appearances in the films of Woody Allen.

Contents

Early life

Sirico was born in New York City, New York on July 29, 1942, to a family of Italian descent. [2] He grew up in the East Flatbush and Bensonhurst neighborhoods of Brooklyn, [3] and attended Midwood High School, but did not graduate. [4] Sirico's brother, Robert Sirico, is a Catholic priest and co-founder of the free-market Acton Institute. [5]

Sirico was convicted of several crimes and was arrested 28 times, including for disorderly conduct, assault, and robbery, before taking up acting. [3] [6] 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. [7] [8] [9]

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. [7] Sirico stated that he was visited by an acting troupe composed of ex-convicts during his imprisonment, which inspired him to give acting a try. [10] He appeared in the 1989 documentary The Big Bang by James Toback, in which he discussed his earlier life. [11]

Career

Sirico's first confirmed role in film was as an extra in the 1974 film Crazy Joe , securing the role with the help of Richard Castellano. [9] Michael Gazzo was Sirico's first acting coach. [12] Sirico 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 , Mickey Blue Eyes , and Wonder Wheel . He also played policemen in the films Dead Presidents and Deconstructing Harry . Sirico was a close friend of Woody Allen, and appeared in seven of his films. [4]

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 Paulie Gualtieri; Sirico agreed under the condition that his character "would not become a rat". [9]

In animation, Sirico provided the voice of "Big Daddy" Fairywinkle in The Fairly OddParents . [13] On Family Guy , he voiced the character of Vinny, who for three episodes in late 2013 was the family's pet dog, replacing Brian Griffin after his death; Brian would later be brought back via time travel. [14] 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". [15] Sirico would later voice characters on Seth MacFarlane's other animated series American Dad! . [1]

In 2018, he reunited with former Sopranos actors Federico Castelluccio and Vincent Pastore in Sarah Q. [16]

Personal life

Sirico (left) and James Gandolfini (right) with a member of the U.S. Air Force during a USO visit to Southwest Asia, 2010 SopranosKuwaitUSO.jpg
Sirico (left) and James Gandolfini (right) with a member of the U.S. Air Force during a USO visit to Southwest Asia, 2010

Sirico had two children, Joanne and Richard. [17] In 1999, he 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. [18]

In 2008, he released a cologne called Paolo Per Uomo. [19]

Sirico died on the afternoon of July 8, 2022, at an assisted living facility in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, three weeks before his 80th birthday. No cause of death was given, but he had been diagnosed with dementia some years before his death. [20] Sirico's Funeral Mass was held at the Basilica of Regina Pacis, and he was interred at Calvary Cemetery in Queens, New York. [21] [22]

Filmography

Film

YearTitleRoleNote
1974 Crazy Joe Extra [23]
The Godfather Part II ExtraUncredited [24]
1978Hughes and Harlow: Angels in HellFrankie Rio [24]
Fingers Riccamonza [3] [25]
The One Man Jury Charlie "Nuts" [26]
1980 Defiance Davey [27]
1981 So Fine Associate [28]
1982 Love and Money Raoul [29]
1983 Exposed Thief [30]
The Last FightFrankie [3]
1987The Galucci BrothersGalucci Brother [31]
The Pick-up Artist Patsy Cabaluso [3]
Hello Again Tough Guy [27]
1989White HotLuke [32]
Cookie Carmine's Wiseguy [3]
The Big Bang HimselfDocumentary [11]
1990 Catchfire Greek Guy [33] [30]
Goodfellas Tony "Stacks" [23]
1991 29th Street Fortunado [12]
1992 Innocent Blood Jacko [34]
1993New York CopMr. C [35]
Romeo Is Bleeding Malacci [36]
1994Men LiePorno Witness [37]
Bullets Over Broadway Rocco [23]
The Search for One-eye Jimmy "Snake" [38]
1995 Dead Presidents Officer Spinelli [39]
Mighty Aphrodite Boxing Trainer [12]
Casino Extra, Nicky's Crew: Signal Happy Gambler [26]
Dearly BelovedMr. BedutzShort film [40]
1996 Everyone Says I Love You Escaped Convict [12]
1997 Deconstructing Harry Police Officer [39]
Cop Land Salvatore "Toy" Torillo [12]
The Deli Tony [12]
The Good Life JuniorNever released [41]
1998 Mob Queen Joey "The Heart" Aorta [12]
Celebrity Lou DeMarco [12]
1999 Mickey Blue Eyes Risolli Guard [42]
2000It Had to Be YouRicky Valentino [12]
2001 Smokin' Stogies Tony "Batts" [43]
2002 Turn of Faith Jimmy [43] [44]
2008The Sno Cone Stand IncBob Beasley [45]
2009Karma CallingLord Ganesh [43] [46]
2010SkateSkateShort film [47]
2014 Zarra's Law Tony Zarra [39]
Friends and Romans Bobby Musso [24]
Family on BoardRoccoShort film [47]
2015TouchedAnthony [48]
2016 Café Society Vito [27]
2017 Wonder Wheel Angelo [43]
2018Sarah QMr. Danny [27]
2022Respect the JuxBobbyPost-production, posthumous release [27] [24]
TBDSuper AthleteCoach LouCompleted, posthumous release [27]

Television

YearTitleRoleNotes
1977 Kojak Greek GodEpisode: "Case Without a File" [43]
1982 Police Squad! Poker PlayerEpisode: "Ring of Fear (A Dangerous Assignment)" [49]
1989 Miami Vice Frank RomanoEpisode: "Fruit of the Poison Tree" [35]
Perfect Witness MarcoTelevision film [28]
1992In the Shadow of a KillerTony AndrettiTelevision film [28]
1996 Cosby TeddyEpisode: "Happily Ever Hilton" [50]
Gotti Joe DimigliaTelevision film [12]
1998 Witness to the Mob Thomas Gambino Television film [28]
VigLocassoTelevision film [43]
1999–2007 The Sopranos Paul "Paulie Walnuts" Gualtieri 74 episodes [26]
2005 The Fairly OddParents Big Daddy Voice [50]
Episodes: "Talking Trash" and "Big Wanda"
2007Elmo's Christmas CountdownFamous BertTV special [51]
2008 A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa MobsterTV special [35]
2010 Chuck MattyEpisode: "Chuck Versus the Fake Name" [52]
Medium Big DaddyEpisode: "Bring Your Daughter to Work Day" [52]
2012 Jersey Shore Shark Attack Captain SalieTelevision film [39]
2013–2014 Lilyhammer Tony TaglianoEpisodes: "2.8: Ghosts" and "3.8: Loose Ends" [24]
2013 Nicky Deuce Charlie CementTelevision film [27]
2013–2016 Family Guy Vinny/HimselfVoice [24] [27]
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" [52]
2016 The Grinder SebastianEpisode: "Grinder v Grinder" [52]
2017–2019 American Dad! Enzo Perotti / MobsterVoice [52]
2 episodes

Video games

YearTitleRoleNotes
2006 The Sopranos: Road to Respect Paulie "Walnuts" Gualtieri Voice [53]

Awards and nominations

YearAwardCategoryNominated workResult
2000 Screen Actors Guild Award [54] Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series The Sopranos Won
2001 Nominated
2002 Nominated
2003 Nominated
2005 Nominated
2007 Nominated
2008 Won [55]

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References

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