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Tony Sirico

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Also Known As: Genaro Anthony Sirico Jr., Anthony Sirico, G Anthony Sirico Died:
Born: July 29, 1942 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Although never "connected", actor Tony Sirico had his share of run-ins with the law before packing the pistol away to play hoodlums in the movies. While doing time in Sing Sing, he saw a traveling thespian troupe of ex-cons called The Theater of the Forgotten and determined that he to would be an actor. Shortly after his release from prison, he earned his Screen Actors Guild card for his work in "Crazy Joey" (1974, about the life of mobster Joey Gallo), but the lean years that followed almost convinced him to strap the iron back on to earn his daily bread. Sirico persevered and began making slow inroads into the business, enjoying an early association with director James Toback. He has also acted in four Woody Allen movies, beginning with "Bullets Over Broadway" (1994). In his own words, he's "done like 45 movies, played 40 gangsters and five crooked cops" (Daily News, February 7, 1999), a resume that eminently qualifies him for the unofficial group of New York actors called GAG--the Gangsters Actors Guild.Sirico had a small role in Martin Scorsese's classic mob picture "GoodFellas" (1990) and played assorted wiseguys in movies like Susan Seidelman's "Cookie" (1989), John Landis' vampire-mobster...

Although never "connected", actor Tony Sirico had his share of run-ins with the law before packing the pistol away to play hoodlums in the movies. While doing time in Sing Sing, he saw a traveling thespian troupe of ex-cons called The Theater of the Forgotten and determined that he to would be an actor. Shortly after his release from prison, he earned his Screen Actors Guild card for his work in "Crazy Joey" (1974, about the life of mobster Joey Gallo), but the lean years that followed almost convinced him to strap the iron back on to earn his daily bread. Sirico persevered and began making slow inroads into the business, enjoying an early association with director James Toback. He has also acted in four Woody Allen movies, beginning with "Bullets Over Broadway" (1994). In his own words, he's "done like 45 movies, played 40 gangsters and five crooked cops" (Daily News, February 7, 1999), a resume that eminently qualifies him for the unofficial group of New York actors called GAG--the Gangsters Actors Guild.

Sirico had a small role in Martin Scorsese's classic mob picture "GoodFellas" (1990) and played assorted wiseguys in movies like Susan Seidelman's "Cookie" (1989), John Landis' vampire-mobster spoof "Innocent Blood" (1992) and "The Search for One-Eye Jimmy" (1996). In 1997, he also got a chance to act with future "Sopranos" co-stars Michael Imperioli and Vincent Pastore" in John Andrew Gallagher's "The Deli", but it would remain for "The Sopranos" (1999- ), HBO's acclaimed dark comedy about the mob, to make him a star. "When I first read David Chase's script, I knew this was special. This is what I'd been looking for all my life . . . When I heard James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, Michael Imperioli and Nancy Marchand were in it, I knew it was going to be a total class act. I knew right away this was a role to kill for." (Daily News, February 7, 1999) Fortunately, he didn't break out the pistol but let that "certain authenticity" he would bring to his character do his talking for him, and he landed the role of Tony Soprano's icy enforcer Paulie Walnuts in the breakout hit.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Nicky Deuce (2013)
3.
 Mickey Blue Eyes (1999) Risolli Man No 1
4.
 Celebrity (1998) Lou Demarco
5.
 Mob Queen (1998) Joey "The Heart" Aorta
6.
 Deli, The (1997) Tony
7.
 Deconstructing Harry (1997) Policeman At Jail
8.
 Cop Land (1997) Toy Torillo
9.
 Search For One-Eye Jimmy, The (1996) The Snake
10.
 Everyone Says I Love You (1996) Escape Convict
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Grew up in Brooklyn, New York
:
Jailed twice for robbing some New York nightclubs in the late 1960s and early 1970s; served part of his time in Sing Sing, where a traveling thespian troupe of ex-cons called The Theater of the Forgotten came to entertain the inmates
1974:
Earned Screen Actors Guild card for first film, "Crazy Joe"
1980:
Credited as G Anthony Sirico for John Flynn's "Defiance"
1980:
Credited as Anthony Sirico Jr in James Toback's "Love & Money"
1983:
Reteamed with Toback for "Exposed"
1987:
Third film with Toback for "The Pick-Up Artist"; first credit as Tony Sirico
1989:
Appeared as himself in Toback's feature documentary "The Big Bang"
1990:
Played Tony Stacks (of Cicero's 1950s crew) in Martin Scorsese's "GoodFellas"
1994:
Acted in Woody Allen's "Bullets Over Broadway"
1995:
Reteamed with Allen for "Mighty Aphrodite"
1996:
Portrayed an escaped convict in Allen's "Everyone Says I Love You"
1997:
Acted with future "Sopranos" co-stars Michael Imperioli and Vincent Pastore in John Andrew Gallagher's "The Deli"
1997:
Fourth film with Allen, "Deconstructing Harry"
1998:
Played Tommy Gambino in NBC minisries "Witness to the Mob"
1999:
Interviewed for TNT's "Family Values: The Mob & the Movies"
1999:
Portrayed Paulie Walnuts on the HBO drama "The Sopranos"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Actors Studio: New York , New York -

Notes

About the great advice given him by acting teacher Michael Gazzo: "I was this 30-year-old ex-con villain sitting in a class filled with fresh-faced, serious acting students. Gazzo leaned over to me after I did a scene and whispered, 'Tony, leave the gun home.' After so many years of packing a gun, I didn't even realize I had it with me in acting class. But when he told me to leave the gun home, he meant for me to also leave my former life behind, to be an actor." --Tony Sirico to Denis Hamill in Daily News, February 7, 1999

On his success in "The Sopranos": "I ran out of my local OTB and a cop was putting a ticket under the wipers of my double-parked car. When he saw me, he tore up the ticket and asked for an autographed picture, which I carry in the trunk. They're having a Paulie Walnuts Night at a local club called Enigma in Brooklyn on January 29. I'll be there. Friends from way back like Tommy Mottola, head of Sony Music, come up to congratulate me. In one year, it's like I got a life transplant. Sometimes I gotta remind myself I'm Tony Sirico, from Bensonhurst.

"Hey, I've made a few bucks, I work with a great bunch of people, and I've been blessed with being seen in the best show on TV. It doesn't get any better than this. But I'm realistic. This is a gangster show. Anything can happen anytime. I'm just happy I'm working this year, because, man, what a year the last one's been." --Sirico to Dennis Hamill in Daily News, January 16, 2000

Family close complete family listing

mother:
Marie Sirico. Born c. 1919; Sirico lives with his mother in a two-bedroom apartment in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.
daughter:
Joeanna Sirico. Born c. 1962.
son:
Richard Sirico. Born c. 1964.

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