Tony Sirico has died at the age of 79.
The actor - who was known for his role as chief henchman Peter Paul 'Paulie Walnuts' Gualtieri on 'The Sopranos' passed away on Friday (08.07.22, with his co-star from the crime drama Michael Imperoli taking to Instagram to explain that he was "heartbroken" by his death.
Without revealing a cause of death, Michael wrote on Instagram: "It pains me to say that my dear friend, colleague and partner in crime, the great TONY SIRICO has passed away today. Tony was like no one else: he was as tough, as loyal and as big-hearted as anyone i’ve ever known."(sic)
Michael went on to explain that the pair were together through "so much" and that they had a "lot of laughs" as they played the roles of Christopher and Paulie on the classic crime drama for six seasons.
He added: I was at his side through so much: through good times and bad. But mostly good. 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. I send love to his family, friends and his many many fans. He was beloved and will never be forgotten. Heartbroken today.." (sic)
Tony is survived by his children Joanne and Richard as well as his brother Robert, who currently serves as a Catholic priest.
He wrote on Facebook: "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.
Tony is survived by his two beloved children, Joanne Sirico Bello and Richard Sirico, grandchildren, siblings, nieces, nephews and many other relatives."A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated by his brother Fr. Robert Sirico at the Basilica of Regina Pacis (1230 65th Street, Brooklyn, NY) on Wednesday morning, July 13 at 10:30am."