Tony Sirico

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Tony Sirico
100401-N-0696M-202 Tony Sirico (cropped).jpg
Sirico in 2010
Genaro Anthony Sirico Jr.

(1942-07-29) July 29, 1942 (age 76)
Years active1974–present
FamilyRobert Sirico (brother)

Genaro Anthony Sirico Jr. (Italian: [ˈsiːriko];[citation needed] born July 29, 1942)[1] is an American actor, best known for his role as Paul "Paulie Walnuts" Gualtieri in The Sopranos and various roles in the films of Woody Allen.

Early life[edit]

Sirico was born in New York City on July 29, 1942.[1] He grew up in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn and East Flatbush.[2] As a teenager, Sirico was part of a street gang which had feuds with the Black and Irish communities. He later recalled that he was shot on the steps of St Brendan's Catholic Church in Brooklyn, by a rival Irish thug.

Before turning to acting, he was convicted of several crimes and had been arrested 28 times.[2][3] In 1967, he was sent to prison for robbing a Brooklyn after-hours club, but was released after serving 13 months. In 1971, he pleaded guilty to felony weapons possession and was sentenced to an "indeterminate" prison term of up to four years, of which he ended up serving 20 months.

It is alleged that he was an associate of Colombo crime family Caporegime Jimmy "Green Eyes" Clemenza during the late 1960s to mid-1970s. In a 1989 interview, Sirico has admitted that he has spent prison time within several penitentiaries including Woodbourne, Sing Sing and Wallkill. In 1999, he and Sopranos co-star Vincent Pastore were seen meeting Clemenza and his brother, a Colombo soldier, at a Christmas party in Little Italy. Clemenza was under FBI surveillance at the time.[4]

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.[5] According to a court transcript, at the time of his sentencing, he also had pending charges for drug possession.[6] He appeared in a 1989 documentary about life and existence, The Big Bang, by James Toback, in which he discussed his earlier life.


His first confirmed role in film was in Crazy Joe in 1974, with the help of Richard Castellano. 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 was the family's pet dog in Family Guy (replacing Brian Griffin after his death; Brian would later be saved via time travel two episodes after Vinny's debut).[8] 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".

In 2018, he reunited with former Sopranos actors, Federico Castelluccio and Vincent Pastore, in Sarah Q.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Sirico and James Gandolfini with a member of the U.S. Air Force during a USO visit to Southwest Asia

Sirico's brother, Robert Sirico, is a Catholic priest and co-founder of the free-market Acton Institute.[10]



Year Title Role Notes
1974 Crazy Joe N/A N/A
1978 Hughes and Harlow: Angels in Hell Frankie Rio N/A
Fingers Riccamonza N/A
The One Man Jury Charlie Nuts N/A
1980 Defiance Davey N/A
1981 So Fine Associate N/A
1982 Love & Money Raoul N/A
1983 Exposed Thief N/A
The Last Fight Frankie N/A
1987 The Galucci Brothers Galucci Brother N/A
The Pick-up Artist Patsy Cabaluso N/A
Hello Again Tough Guy N/A
1989 White Hot Luke N/A
Cookie Carmine's Wiseguy N/A
The Big Bang Himself Documentary
1990 Catchfire Greek Guy N/A
Goodfellas Tony Stacks N/A
1991 29th Street Fortunado N/A
1992 Innocent Blood Jacko N/A
1993 New York Cop Mr. C N/A
Romeo Is Bleeding Malacci N/A
1994 Men Lie Porno Witness N/A
Bullets over Broadway Rocco N/A
The Search for One-eye Jimmy Snake N/A
1995 Dead Presidents Officer Spinelli N/A
Mighty Aphrodite Boxing Trainer N/A
Melissa Jack N/A
Casino Extra (Mickey's crew: signal happy gambler) N/A
Dearly Beloved Mr. Bedutz Short film
1996 Everyone Says I Love You Escaped Convict N/A
1997 Hoodlum Driver N/A
Deconstructing Harry Police Officer N/A
Cop Land Toy Torillo N/A
The Deli Tony N/A
The Good Life Junior Never released[11]
1998 Mob Queen Joey (The Heart) Aorta N/A
Celebrity Lou DeMarco N/A
1999 Mickey Blue Eyes Risolli Guard N/A
2000 It Had to Be You Ricky Valentino N/A
2001 Smokin' Stogies Tony Batts N/A
2002 Turn of Faith Jimmy N/A
2008 The Sno Cone Stand Inc Bob Beasley N/A
2009 Karma Calling G N/A
2010 Skate Skate Short film
2012 Jersey Shore Shark Attack Captain Salie N/A
2013 Super Athlete Coach Lou N/A
Zarra's Law Tony Zarra N/A
Family on Board Rocco Short film
2014 Friends and Romans Bobby Musso N/A
2015 Touched Anthony N/A
2016 Café Society Vito N/A
2017 Wonder Wheel Angelo N/A
2018 Sarah Q Mr Danny (post-production)
TBA Respect the Jux Bobby (post-production)
2019 Street Justice Johnny (pre-production)
Made in Chinatown Al Capella (pre-production)


Year Title Role Notes
1977 Kojak Greek God Episode: "Case Without a File"
1982 Police Squad! Poker Player Episode: "Ring of Fear (A Dangerous Assignment)"
1989 Miami Vice Frank Romano Episode: "Fruit of the Poison Tree"
Perfect Witness Marco Television film
1992 In the Shadow of a Killer Tony Andretti Television film
1996 Cosby Teddy Episode: "Happily Ever Hilton"
Gotti Joe Dimiglia Television film
1998 Witness to the Mob Thomas Gambino Television film
Vig Locasso Television film
1999–2007 The Sopranos Paul "Paulie Walnuts" Gualtieri 86 episodes
2005 The Fairly OddParents Big Daddy 2 episodes
2008 A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa Mobster TV special
2010 Chuck Matty Episode: "Chuck Versus the Fake Name"
Medium Big Daddy Episode: "Bring Your Daughter to Work Day"
2013–2014 Lilyhammer Tony Tagliano Episodes: "2.8: Ghosts" and "3.8: Loose Ends"
2013 Nicky Deuce Charlie Cement Television 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 Tony Episode: "Revenge"
2016 The Grinder Sebastian Episode: "Grinder v Grinder"
2017 American Dad! Enzo Perotti Episode: "Garbage Stan"

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2006 The Sopranos: Road to Respect Paulie "Walnuts" Gualtieri Voice

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Title of work Result
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


  1. ^ a b "Tony Sirico Biography". The Biography Channel/A+E Networks. Retrieved 2013-12-16.
  2. ^ a b Goldstein, Patrick (July 15, 1990). "A Real Tough Guy : Tony Sirico's rap sheet: 28 arrests and 27 acting jobs". LA Times. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  3. ^ "Artie's Goose Is Coked", New York Post, May 2, 2006
  4. ^ "Sopranos made mob scene FBI spotted actors at '99 Colombo fete". The Daily News. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  5. ^ Rothstein, Mervyn (March–April 2001). "The Sopranos: Mob Rule - The wiseguys of HBO's The Sopranos take a shot at another season of the award-winning show". Cigar Aficionado. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  6. ^ From Sing Sing to Bada Bing,, accessed July 17, 2007.
  7. ^ "How Tony Sirico's Criminal Past Prepared Him To Play Paulie Walnuts On 'The Sopranos'". Uproxx. Christian Long. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  8. ^ Family Guy's Shocking Death: Boss Reveals Why They Decided to Kill Off (Spoiler)!
  9. ^ "Five 'Sopranos' stars are reuniting for this brand new movie". Shortlist. Alex Finnis. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  10. ^ "Acton Institute Press Releases". Retrieved 2012-03-14.
  11. ^ "The wild, untold story of The Good Life". Little White Lies. February 11, 2017. Retrieved February 24, 2017.

External links[edit]