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Tony stars as "Paulie Williams" on HBO's original series "The Sopranos." Peter Paul Gualtieri, arguably the most meticulously coiffed and manicured capo in the Soprano crew, was something of a child prodigy. He first displayed the skills he'd utilize in his chosen profession at the tender age of nine: while other kids were dreaming of wielding a bat like the Mick, Paulie was deploying one on a schoolmate's skull. In and out of juvenile correctional facilities for the next several years, Paulie eventually dropped out of school altogether; at seventeen, he became an enforcer for Johnny Boy Soprano. Thereafter his movement up the ranks was steady, albeit punctuated by the occasional prison stretch and an army hitch abbreviated by a Section 8. Is Paulie mentally unstable? He's highly superstitious and has a violent - at times literally murderous - temper, as well as a distrust of others that borders on the paranoid. But those qualities don't particularly distinguish him from his associates. He's openly admitted to seeking professional counseling, although he disapproves of Tony's therapy. That Tony's shrink is a woman "don't compute" for Paulie, whose "issues" with the opposite sex are common knowledge. Though he's had his fair share of goomars, the only Mrs. Gualtieri is Paulie's mother - on whom he dotes with the reverence of a true son of Italy. Paulie's philosophy of life is simple: as long as everybody who's supposed to kick points to him does, so that he can in turn kick his points to Tony, all's right with the world. But recent decisions by Tony - that resulted in a considerable drop in Paulie's earnings - have made Paulie less sanguine about the way of the world. He went so far as to tell his sorrows to Johnny Sack and even paid a visit to Carmine Lupertazzi, intending to switch his allegiance to the New York organization. But when the old don didn't know who he was, a chagrined Paulie quickly hightailed it back to Tony, rekindling their relationship with an envelope full of cash. That Paulie had to rob and murder an elderly woman to get it is just another incidental detail of his long career.
Tony Sirico was born on July 29, 1942, in Brooklyn, New York.
More fun stuff about Tony Sirico
Tony Sirico served time in prison during the late 1960s and early '70s for sticking up a few after hours clubs. He left prison for the last time in 1972. He got a part in the 1974 film 'Crazy Joe' which led to him obtaining a Screen Actors Guild card.
His brother Robert is a Catholic priest in the diocese of Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Has done Stacker 2 commercials with WWE wrestlers, Tazz, Trish Stratus and Bubba Ray Dudley.
Lives in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn
Has a son and a daughter in their 30s
Practices Karate and Kung Fu
Frequently cast as a bit player in Woody Allen movies.
A member of the USO.
Sopranos Visit the Troops
The Sopranos stars James Gandolfini and Tony Sirico have signed up to spread a little Thanksgiving cheer to US troops stationed in the Persian Gulf. The two actors are on a USO-Armed Forces Entertainment tour, where they'll sign autographs, pose for pictures and watch movies with the troops. Other celebrities who have visited the region over the past year include Wayne Newton, Tom Green and 50 Cent.
Gandolfini Shares the Wealth
The Sopranos' lead star James Gandolfini has handed out $500,000 to his co-stars on the hit show - following his acrimonious salary battle with the TV drama's producers. Gandolfini attracted bad publicity with his reported wage demands when re- negotiating his salary with American network HBO for the present series of the hit mobster series - but he's sought to readdress the balance by handing out five figure checks to his fellow stars as they prepare to sign up for a sixth season. Cast members, including Edie Falco, Lorraine Bracco, Michael Imperioli, Dominic Chianese and Tony Sirico, have been the lucky recipients of Gandolfini's generosity, following his receipt of the first advance of profits generated by the American show. A source close to the actor says, "It was always part of his plan (during the renegotiations) to share some of the wealth with the other actors. He has always called this show an ensemble, from day one."
Soprano Furious at Cancer Rumor
Sopranos star Tony Sirico is fuming with supermarket tabloid The National Enquirer after it falsely claimed he was suffering from cancer. The New Yorker, 60, who plays mobster Paulie Walnuts in the HBO drama, was shocked when the publication quoted "sources" close to him alleging the actor had undergone radiation therapy. Tony rants, "Those f**kers! I have no cancer. I've had no radiation and no chemotherapy. It's complete bull!" The TV star did confirm he has spent a lot of time in hospital during the past year. Tony explains, "I had a dead saliva gland removed from my tongue. I also had a cyst removed from my spine last November. It was a very dangerous operation." Next week Tony is due to undergo a hernia operation. He says, "I started lifting weights a little too soon after my last operation. Bada- bing - I ripped one of my stomach walls. I gotta get a little nip and tuck." The actor is discussing the defamatory article with his advisers to consider possible legal action. He adds, "They're impinging on my career. I have doctors who can ram it right up their a*s. I haven't smoked in nine months. I'm a cool gabagool. There's nothing wrong with Tony." The Enquirer's editorial director Steve Coz maintains, "We stand by the story."
Real-life Criminal Past Of Sopranos Star
The Sopranos star Tony Sirico should have no trouble getting into character in the hit show - he has a real-life criminal past to draw on. Newly-uncovered court records reveal Sirico, who plays Paulie Walnuts in the series, spent 20 months in jail for misdeeds like dealing speed, packing a loaded Beretta gun and using a baseball bat to make Manhattan nightclub owners fork over cash. After a 1971 conviction for illegal weapons possession, the sentencing judge branded Sirico a "danger to society" and cited a Bellevue psychiatric report that he suffered from a "character disorder, " reports The Smoking Gun website. A Manhattan Assistant District Attorney once quoted Sirico's own description of his shakedown style: "You hit them over the head with a baseball bat and they come around." The ADA also alleged that Sirico delivered this threat to an East 59th Street disco owner who failed to supply him with free drinks: "I'm going to come back here and I'm going to carve my initials in your forehead." Sirico admits to a criminal past - but swears he "never hurt nobody."