“The Sopranos” Actor Tony Sirico Dead at 79

Actor Tony Sirico, known for playing Peter Paul “Paulie Walnuts” Gualtieri on the Emmy-winning HBO series “The Sopranos,” died Friday at 79.

Sirico’s manager Bob McGowan confirmed the death to USA TODAY, saying in a statement that Sirico “was a great and loyal client, he would help anyone in need,” adding that he was a “big contributor to the wounded warriors and other charities.”

“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” Friday morning, Sirico’s brother posted on Facebook. “The family is deeply grateful for the many expressions of love, prayer and condolences and requests that the public respect its privacy in this time of bereavement.”

Fellow “Sopranos” co-star Michael Imperioli, who played Christopher Moltisanti, took to Instagram to express his sentiments over the loss of his friend and former colleague.

“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,” Imperioli wrote. “And we had a lot of laughs. 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.”

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SOURCE: USA Today, Anthony Robledo