Steven Van Zandt is paying tribute to late actor Tony Sirico, who portrayed the menacing mobster Paulie “Walnuts” Gualtieri on The Sopranos.
Van Zandt, who played Silvio Dante on the classic HBO drama, took to social media to honor his Sopranos and Lilyhammer co-star, who died on Friday (July 8) at age 79.
“RIP Tony Sirico. Legendary. Silvio’s best buddy ‘Paulie Walnuts’ in The Sopranos, Frankie ‘The Fixer’s’ older brother Antonino ‘Father Tony’ Tagliano in Lilyhammer,” the actor and musician tweeted alongside a photo of the pair. “A larger than life character on and off screen. Gonna miss you a lot my friend. Deepest condolences to the family.”
Sirico passed away at an assisted living facility in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., according to his manager of 25 years Bob McGowan, The Hollywood Reporter reports. A cause of death was not revealed, but the actor had been suffering from dementia in recent years.
Sirico was also known for his roles in such films as Goodfellas, Cop Land and Mickey Blue Eyes, as well as television roles including Miami Vice, Chuck, Medium, Taxi Brooklyn and The Grindr. He also contributed his recognizable voice to episodes of Family Guy and American Dad!
See Van Zandt’s tribute on Twitter below.
RIP Tony Sirico. Legendary. Silvio’s best buddy “Paulie Walnuts” in The Sopranos, Frankie “The Fixer’s” older brother Antonino “Father Tony” Tagliano in Lilyhammer. A larger than life character on and off screen. Gonna miss you a lot my friend. Deepest condolences to the family. pic.twitter.com/pAkDnqfLEs
— 🕉Stevie Van Zandt☮️ (@StevieVanZandt) July 8, 2022