Fans of The Sopranos were recently hit with sad news about the death of Tony Sirico, who played Paulie Walnuts, a humorous capo in the fictional DiMeo crime family. Sirico—the third most featured actor on the critically acclaimed HBO series—passed away on July 8 at an assisted living facility.
Though fans best know him for his role as Paulie, Sirico starred in many other popular movies ad TV shows. Sirico was frequently typecast in gangster roles, and that was no problem for him as he always gave outstanding performances. And for those willing to check out more of his work, IMDb has recommendations.
Bullets Over Broadway (1994) – 7.4
Stream On Apple+
A young playwright is forced to cast a mobster’s inexperienced girlfriend in his first major play after getting funding from an organized crime family. The frustrations stemming from working with the novice soon drive him to the edge. In the movie, Sirico plays a mob enforcer named Rocco.
Sirico’s character isn’t too different from the one he plays in the HBO series. Just like Paulie, Rocco thrives when he is carrying out mob hits. But unlike Paulie, who is one of The Sopranos characters with the highest kill count, Rocco only gets to whack one person. But given how convincing Sirico is in the role, it’s no shocker that he was given a bigger role in the gangster series just a few years later.
American Dad (2005 – Present) – 7.4
Stream On Disney+
In the animated series, a cocky CIA agent juggles between family life and stopping various threats. Sirico voices Enzo Pierotti, the owner of the Italian Accordion Shop, in Season 12’s “Garbage Stan” as well as an enforcer for the crime boss Johnny Lasagna in Season 13’s “Persona Assistant.”
As Enzo, Sirico still has ties to the mob since he is friends with a garbage collector and waste management happens to be one of the biggest mafia fronts. And as an enforcer, he delivers once again. Both of these characters come off as really likable and menacing because the series goes even a step further in magnifying the actor’s accent for humorous purposes.
Miami Vice (1984 – 1989) – 7.5
Stream On Hulu
Two undercover detectives from the Miami PD work hard to eradicate crime from the streets. Sirico portrays the mob boss, Frank Romano.
This particular role is a major reason why Sirico ended up getting typecast as a mobster. The actor is very believable as a Don eager to get his money back from a lawyer who skimmed him. And since he is higher up the food chain, he relies on threats and orders rather than actual violence as most of the actor’s other characters do.
Lilyhammer (2012 – 2014) – 7.9
Stream On Netflix
A high-ranking New York mobster angers his associates when he becomes an informant. In order to avoid getting killed, he flees to Norway where he starts a new life.
Sirico’s appearance on the show is a sentimental one for fans of The Sopranos as it reunites him with co-star Steven Van Zandt, who played the consigliere, Silvio Dante, in the hit HBO series. Interestingly, Sirico is up to no mischief this time as he plays a priest to who Zandt’s character confesses his sins.
Chuck (2007 – 2012) – 8.2
Stream On HBO Max
After accidentally getting access to classified government files, a computer whiz is forced to work for the CIA and NSA. Sirico makes his debut in Season 3 as the mobster, Matty.
With the role coming shortly after the end of The Sopranos, Sirico feels quite comfortable in it. He is granted many of the table conversation scenes that he is known for. He also paired up with Louis Lombard, who played an FBI agent in the HBO series. The two make a wonderful mob duo. Regrettably, they get killed too soon.
Family Guy (1999 – Present) – 8.2
Stream On Netflix
An average American family man keeps finding himself in the most awkward of scenarios. Sirico voices Vinny, one of the best animal characters in Family Guy. Additionally, he makes a cameo as himself where he complains about a joke about Italian-Americans.
Sirico voicing a dog isn’t absurd since most animals in the animated series are anthropomorphic. Interestingly, his character is quite humble and sympathetic in comparison to his roles in other projects as well as other characters in the show in general. And the episode where he plays himself is even more hilarious since the show gets to make fun of itself through him.
Mayne Street (2005 – 2010) – 8.3
Stream On Hulu
ESPN personality Kenny Mayne deals finds himself in bizarre moments as he plays a fictionalized version of himself. Sirico also gets to play a version of himself.
Sirico’s role as Paulie proved that he thrives best when he is a bully. Luckily, he is granted the same opportunity here, harassing Mayne and his friends as they grab a meal. Since events are restricted to one scene, Sirico gets to showcase his dialogue skills once again, coming up with some of the comedy show’s best quotes in the process.
Police Squad! (1982) – 8.4
Stream On Tubi TV
In the spoof of procedural crime shows, a group of detectives gets to solve hilarious cases on the regular. Simply going by the name, Poker Player, Sirico’s character is an associate of a crime boss.
It’s yet another performance that’s restricted to a single setting and one whose brilliance only lies in the dialogue. Parallels can be drawn between this role and that of Paulie too since Paulie also gets to participate in high-stakes card games in The Sopranos. The only shame is that the character is written off quite early.
Goodfellas (1990) – 8.7
Stream On HBO Max
An Irish-Amerian gangster gets accepted into one of the biggest crime families in New York but eventually ends up as an informant. In the Martin Scorsese gangster flick, Sirico has a minor role as Tony Stacks.
Sirico doesn’t get to do much in the movie since his character is only a junior member of a crew led by the capo, Paulie. Nonetheless, he is a useful addition to the movie’s mob populace as he is shown to be a very loyal soldier who is happy to be part of the New York underworld.
The Sopranos (1999 – 2007) – 9.2
Stream On HBO Max
Italian-American mob boss, Tony Soprano, juggles family life and the affairs of the biggest crime organization in New Jersey, Among his trusted lieutenants, is Paulie Walnuts, played by Tony Sirico.
The actor will always be remembered for this particular role because his character is a complete one. Paulie has some of the best dialogue, is at the center of action scenes, and goes the whole series without getting whacked. Paulie also lives by his rules, never getting married despite family values being highly emphasized in the mob.