Tony Sirico Biography

(Best Known for His Role in the TV Series 'The Sopranos')

Birthday: July 29, 1942 (Leo)

Born In: New York, New York, United States

Tony Sirico was an American actor who started his acting career in the 1970s. Before becoming an actor, he was a real-life mobster who had been arrested 28 times and had served two prison terms. During his second prison term, he watched a group of ex-con performers called the ‘Theater of the Forgotten’ and then decided to give acting a shot. He often portrayed Italian–American gangsters. Even though he appeared in quite a few films, he gained fame with his role in the TV series ‘The Sopranos'. In the later years of his life, he was diagnosed with dementia but still continued working. In fact one of his movies was released after his death.

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Quick Facts

Also Known As: Genaro Anthony Sirico Jr.

Age: 80 Years, 80 Year Old Males

Family:

mother: Marie Sirico

siblings: Carmine Sirico, Robert Sirico

children: Joeanna Sirico, Richard Sirico

Born Country: United States

Actors American Men

Height: 5'8" (173 cm), 5'8" Males

Ancestry: Italian American

U.S. State: New Yorkers

Career

Tony Sirico made his acting debut in ‘Crazy Joe,’ which was a film about the life of mobster Joey Gallo, in 1974. He also appeared in ‘Godfather, Part II’ the same year. He had his first speaking role in this movie. He was best known for playing mobsters in groundbreaking gangster films. He has been cast frequently by Woody Allen and James Toback. He has played roles of gangsters in films such as ‘Fingers’ (1978), ‘Love and Money’ (1982), ‘Goodfellas’ (1990), ‘Innocent Blood’ (1992), ‘Mighty Aphrodite’ (1995), ‘Bullets Over Broadway’ (1994), and ‘Mob Queen’ (1998). Tony played the role of a policeman in ‘Dead Presidents’ (1995) and ‘Deconstructing Harry’ (1997).

He made his first TV appearance in ‘Kojak’ in 1977. He continued appearing in series such as ‘Police Squad! (1982) and ‘Miami Vice’ (1989). His most acclaimed TV role has been that of ‘Paul “Paulie Walnuts” Gaultieri’ in the ‘Emmy Award’-winning show ‘The Sopranos’ (1999–2007). He played a hilarious and quirky enforcer for the Soprano crime family, with an unforgettable hairdo.

His other TV projects include ‘Cosby’ (1996), ‘The Fairly Odd Parents’ (2005), and ‘Chuck’ (2010). He was part of the ‘Gangster’s Actors Guild,’ a loosely associated group of actors who played every hoodlum and gangster part that was available. Tony Sirico's later works included his roles in ‘Cafe Society’ (2016) and ‘Wonder Wheel’ (2017).

In 2018, he was seen in the movie 'Sarah Q'. His last movie, Respect the Jux (2022), was released after his death. 

He lent his voice to the character ‘Paulie "Walnuts" Gualtieri’ in the 2006 video game ‘The Sopranos: Road to Respect.’

He, along with the other cast members of ‘The Sopranos,’ won the ‘Screen Actors Guild Award’ for ‘Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series’ in 2000 and 2008.

Family & Personal Life

Tony Sirico was born on July 29, 1942, in Brooklyn, New York, US, and grew up in the Bensonhurst area.

He was first arrested at the age of 7 for stealing nickels from a newspaper stand. He spent a lot of his early life amidst mobs. Tony was found guilty of robbing a Brooklyn after-hours club and served a prison sentence of 13 months in 1967.

In 1971, while he was serving 20 months in ‘Sing Sing’ prison, a performance group of ex-cons, known as the ‘Theatre of the Forgotten,’ came to entertain the inmates. It made a huge impact on him, and he decided to try acting. He mostly portrayed gangsters. His criminal past helped him lend some authenticity to his performance, blurring the line between him and the characters he played.

Tony lived with his mother, Marie Sirico, for most of his life. He had two brothers: Carmine Sirico, and Rev. Robert Sirico, who is a Catholic priest.

Tony had a daughter named Joeanna Sirico and a son named Richard Sirico.

In the later years of his life, he was diagnosed with dementia. He died on July 8, 2022, at an assisted living facility in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

See the events in life of Tony Sirico in Chronological Order

How To Cite

Article Title
- Tony Sirico Biography
Author
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
Website
- TheFamousPeople.com
URL
https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/tony-sirico-45029.php

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