Tony Sirico: How Much Is the ‘Sopranos’ Actor Who Played Paulie Walnuts Worth?
There aren’t many actors who can claim to have carried a gun and done hard time in prison prior to playing the role of a gangster in the movies. However, Tony Sirico, who played Paulie Walnuts on The Sopranos, is one of the few.
In 1990, just before appearing on the screen in Goodfellas, he talked to the Los Angeles Times about his “pistol-packing” days and 28 arrests. By then, he’d given up his guns and was working exclusively as an actor.
After working with Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen in the early ’90s, Sirico landed his big part on The Sopranos. More than a decade after the show ended, it’s safe to say Paulie Gualtieri is his signature role.
Here’s a look at Sirico’s big paydays over the course of his career and the 76-year-old actor’s net worth in 2019.
$75K-$150K per episode of ‘The Sopranos’
If you look at Sirico’s 41 years in the acting business, you can see he packed a lot into his life’s second act. After appearing in Francis Ford Coppola’s gangster epic, he started working with James Toback. Sirico worked on Fingers (1978) and The Pick-up Artist (1987), two Toback films.
Following his roles in Goodfellas and Miami Vice, his run in Woody Allen films began. Sirico performed in Bullets Over Broadway, Mighty Aphrodite, Deconstructing Harry, and Celebrity between 1994-98.
After landing a part in Mickey Blue Eyes, his background on the screen in general — and mob characters in particular — was well established. Looking back, it’s impossible to imagine anyone else playing Paulie Walnuts.
Sirico’s part on The Sopranos meant steady, lucrative work. In the early seasons, after a salary dispute, he began earning $75,000 per episode. Following a stand-off prior to the final season, he and Steven Van Zandt managed to double their salaries.
That allowed Sirico and Van Zandt to earn over $1 million for the final block of work on the classic HBO series. Combined with his regular acting that has continued through this decade, you can see how Sirico built his considerable fortune.
Sirico’s net worth estimated at $10 million
Since The Sopranos wrapped in 2007, Sirico has kept busy. Several TV roles (including voice work as Vinny on The Family Guy) occupied him between the recent Allen films Cafe Society and Wonder Wheel. In 2018, he joined many ex-Sopranos actors on Sarah Q.
All that work paid off. In recent years, Celeberity Net Worth estimated his fortune at $10 million.
It’s a long way from what Sirico described as his process learning how to act. “You get a lot of practice in prison,” he told the L.A. Times in his 1990 profile. “I used to stand up in front of these cold-blooded murderers and kidnappers — and make ’em laugh.”
Clearly, he realized the much safer way to make a living was by landing parts in film and TV. It’s been a much better business than holding up stores with a piece, though he got to recall those days in many of his screen appearances.
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