Tony Sirico

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

(1942-07-29) July 29, 1942 (age 78)
Years active1974–present
FamilyRobert Sirico (brother)

Gennaro Anthony Sirico Jr. (/ˈsɪrik/; born July 29, 1942)[1] is an American actor best known for his role as Paul "Paulie Walnuts" Gualtieri in The Sopranos. He has also made numerous appearances 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 Brooklyn, in the East Flatbush and Bensonhurst neighborhoods.[2] Sirico's brother, Robert Sirico, is a Catholic priest and co-founder of the free-market Acton Institute.[3]

Sirico was convicted of several crimes and had been arrested 28 times, including for disorderly conduct, assault, and robbery, before taking up acting.[2][4] 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.[5][6][7] 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.[5] 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.[8] He appeared in the 1989 documentary The Big Bang by James Toback, in which he discussed his earlier life.[9]


Sirico's first confirmed role in film was as an extra in the 1974 film Crazy Joe, who had secured the role with the help of Richard Castellano.[7] Michael Gazzo was Sirico's first acting coach.[10] 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).[11] 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".

In 2018, he reunited with former Sopranos actors, Federico Castelluccio and Vincent Pastore, in Sarah Q.[12]

Personal life[edit]

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

In 1999, Sirico 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.[13]

In 2008, Sirico released a cologne called Paolo Per Uomo.[14]



Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1974 Crazy Joe N/A N/A [15]
1978 Hughes and Harlow: Angels in Hell Frankie Rio N/A
Fingers Riccamonza N/A [2][16]
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 [17]
1983 Exposed Thief N/A [18]
The Last Fight Frankie N/A [2]
1987 The Galucci Brothers Galucci Brother N/A
The Pick-up Artist Patsy Cabaluso N/A [2]
Hello Again Tough Guy N/A
1989 White Hot Luke N/A
Cookie Carmine's Wiseguy N/A [2]
The Big Bang Himself Documentary [9]
1990 Catchfire Greek Guy N/A [19][18]
Goodfellas Tony Stacks N/A [15]
1991 29th Street Fortunado N/A [10]
1992 Innocent Blood Jacko N/A [20]
1993 New York Cop Mr. C N/A
Romeo Is Bleeding Malacci N/A [21]
1994 Men Lie Porno Witness N/A [22]
Bullets over Broadway Rocco N/A [15]
The Search for One-eye Jimmy Snake N/A [23]
1995 Dead Presidents Officer Spinelli N/A [24]
Mighty Aphrodite Boxing Trainer N/A [10]
Casino Extra (Mickey's crew: signal happy gambler) N/A
Dearly Beloved Mr. Bedutz Short film [25]
1996 Everyone Says I Love You Escaped Convict N/A [10]
1997 Deconstructing Harry Police Officer N/A [24]
Cop Land Toy Torillo N/A [10]
The Deli Tony N/A [10]
The Good Life Junior Never released[26]
1998 Mob Queen Joey (The Heart) Aorta N/A [10]
Celebrity Lou DeMarco N/A [10]
1999 Mickey Blue Eyes Risolli Guard N/A [27]
2000 It Had to Be You Ricky Valentino N/A [10]
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
2013 Super Athlete Coach Lou N/A
Zarra's Law Tony Zarra N/A [24]
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 Ref.
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 [10]
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"
2012 Jersey Shore Shark Attack Captain Salie Television film [24]
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 December 16, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Goldstein, Patrick (July 15, 1990). "A Real Tough Guy: Tony Sirico's rap sheet: 28 arrests and 27 acting jobs". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  3. ^ "'Our Lady of Fatima' Celebrating a century of her message", Holy Family Radio. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  4. ^ "Artie's Goose Is Coked", New York Post, May 2, 2006
  5. ^ a b "From Sing Sing To Bada Bing!". February 25, 2001.
  6. ^ "'Sopranos' actor has real life mob history", UPI, March 20, 2006.
  7. ^ a b c "How Tony Sirico's Criminal Past Prepared Him To Play Paulie Walnuts On 'The Sopranos'". Uproxx. Christian Long. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ a b James, Caryn. "Reviews/Film; Life, Sex, Death and Chaos", The New York Times. May 11, 1990. Section C, p. 10. Retrieved July 6, 2020.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Hamill, Denis. "From Hoodfella to Couldfella in Sopranos, Tony Sirico Hits the High Note of His Checkered Career", New York Daily News. February 7, 1999. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  11. ^ Family Guy's Shocking Death: Boss Reveals Why They Decided to Kill Off (Spoiler)!
  12. ^ "Five 'Sopranos' stars are reuniting for this brand new movie". Shortlist. Alex Finnis. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  13. ^ "Sopranos made mob scene FBI spotted actors at '99 Colombo fete". The Daily News. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  14. ^ "Get a whiff of new cologne, Paolo, by 'Sopranos' star Tony Sirico". November 12, 2008.
  15. ^ a b c Hamill, Denis. "The Man Inside Paulie Walnuts: After life as a young hood, 'Sopranos' star enjoys his role as a make-believe gangster", New York Daily News. January 16, 2000. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  16. ^ Garbicz, Adam (2013). Kino wehikuł magiczny - Podróż piąta: Przewodnik osiągnięć filmu fabularnego. Podróż piąta: 1974–1981 Wersja uzupełniona i skorygowana. Planet RGB Limited. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  17. ^ Canby, Vincent. "Unpredictable 'Love and Money'", The New York Times. February 12, 1982. Section C, Page 8. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  18. ^ a b Gallagher, John A. (1989). Film Directors on Directing. ABC-CLIO. p. 255. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  19. ^ Maltin, Leonard (2012). Leonard Maltin's 2013 Movie Guide: The Modern Era. Penguin Books. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  20. ^ Muir, John Kenneth (2011). Horror Films of the 1990s. McFarland & Company. p. 238. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  21. ^ Willis, John; Monush, Barry (2000). Comprehensive Pictorial and Statistical Record of the 1994 Movie Season. Hal Leonard Corporation. Retrieved July 6, 2020.
  22. ^ Leydon, Joe. "Men Lie", Variety. May 3, 1994. Retrieved July 6, 2020.
  23. ^ Wilmington, Michael. "Premise gouges humor from promising 'One-Eye Jimmy'", Chicago Tribune. July 12, 1996. Section 7, p. N.
  24. ^ a b c d Hamill, Denis. "No more mob for Tony Sirico; he plays cop in new flick", New York Daily News. June 12, 2012. Retrieved July 6, 2020.
  25. ^ Reid, Beverly M. "'Sopranos' cast flourishes with late blooming actors", September 5, 2002. Retrieved July 6, 2020.
  26. ^ "The wild, untold story of The Good Life". Little White Lies. February 11, 2017. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  27. ^ Booker, M. Keith; Daraiseh, Isra (2017). Tony Soprano's America: Gangsters, Guns, and Money. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 85. Retrieved July 7, 2020.

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