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Sopranos actor Tony Sirico dead at 79

Michael Imperioli, Tony Sirico
Michael Imperioli, left, and Tony Sirico attend HBO’s “The Sopranos” 20th anniversary at the SVA Theatre on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

FORT LAUDERDALE- Tony Sirico, the actor who played mob henchman ‘Paulie Walnuts’ on the hit HBO show The Sopranos has died according to a release from his family.

“It is with great sadness, but with incredible pride, love and a whole lot of fond memories, that the family of Gennaro Anthony “Tony” Sirico wishes to inform you of his death,” his brother Robert said in a Facebook post.

Sources close to the family tell TMZ that Sirico had been in failing health and had moved to an assisted living facility in Fort Lauderdale two years ago.

He was 79.

Sirico played the role of the mafia enforcer Paulie Walnuts form 1999-2007 but got his start thanks to a troupe of actors at New York’s Sing-Sing prison where he was serving a 20 month sentence in the early 70s.

He later went on to be featured in numerous movies and TV shows including Goodfellas and Miami Vice.

Sirico also had a voice acting role on the hit Fox series ‘Family Guy’ as a streetwise dog named Vinny.

He is survived by two children, Joanne and Richard.