Tony Sirico was living with his mother in a small apartment in New York in 1997 when he recorded the pilot episode of The Sopranos, which later premiered on January 10, 1999, and for many years was considered a masterpiece. This changed the way television was made forever.
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The actor plays Peter Paul Gualtieri, better known as gangster Paulie Walnuts, who is loyal to his boss Tony Soprano and has been waiting for recognition from him, which has continued throughout the award-winning six and a half seasons. Serie.
Sirico is not a new face in the industry, having made almost 30 movies when HBO’s new adventure production made him famous. But they are only small roles that he has done for various directors, Martin Scorsese or Woody Allen or some of the status of the Coen brothers.
He always played the rude role because he was rude and they didn’t call him anything else. “What you see is what you get,” he would tell directors when they asked him to do something to crack down on hooligans.
If anyone in the cast of “The Sopranos” really knows the gangster life, it’s him: he’s a thief, a feared and respected figure in the underworld. He was arrested a total of 28 times in his life. He first stole coins from newsstands at age seven.
Gennaro Anthony Sirico Jr. was born on July 29, 1942 in New York. He spent his childhood and adult life in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, an Italian neighborhood known for its notorious gang members. “Where I grew up, everyone was trying to prove themselves. Either you had a tattoo or you had a gunshot wound,” he said in a July 1990 report for the Los Angeles Times. He added with a mischievous smile, “I have both.”
Irish and African-Americans from other communities were mortal enemies of the Italian-American gang he was involved with when he was a teenager. One day, while he was with a girl on the steps of a Catholic church in Brooklyn, the actor was surprised when a young man from the Bronx shot him.
“I am someone who is always armed. The first time I was in jail they began to search me and they found three pistols on me. They asked me why I brought them and I told them that I lived in a dangerous block. In our neighborhood, if you don’t carry a gun, it’s like being a rabbit during hunting season,” he said.
In 1967 he was sentenced to 13 months in prison for robbing a New York nightclub. In 1971 he pleaded guilty to possession of a weapon and a judge sentenced him to four years in prison, but he only spent 20 months in prison.
“I met every judge in the city after constant pressure from the authorities,” he told the Los Angeles Times.
According to some American media -and the actor also commented on his cast- Sirico works for the Colombo crime family, one of the five most important families dealing with organized crime in New York, and his boss is Jimmy ‘ Green Eyes’ Clemenza.