'Sopranos' creator David Chase, left, actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler, center, and Tony Sirico on October 12, 2006 in New York City. (Getty)
Jamie-Lynn Sigler is paying tribute Tony Sirico, her TV uncle on The Sopranos, following his death on Friday.
Sigler, who played Meadow Soprano on the hit HBO show, took to Instagram and said she was heartbroken after learning that Sirico died. She shared several photos of her time with Sirico and recalled his generosity, talent and presence in her lengthy caption.
"Oh Tony. I’m so heartbroken. I loved you so much," she wrote. "I have never been able to walk into a room that you were in without you giving me an enormous hug, drenching me in your cologne, and making sure I knew any man that came near me would have to answer to you first. You were SUCH a phenomenal actor. Stealing every scene you were in. You were tough, and strong, yet sweet and a real artist. There will never ever be anyone like you. I feel so lucky to have known you and been loved by you. ❤️❤️💔."
Lorraine Bracco, who played Tony Soprano's psychiatrist as Dr. Jennifer Melfi, also took to Instagram and shared how much she adored the beloved actor known for playing Paulie "Walnuts" Gualtieri.
"A stand up guy who always had my back and who loved my children and my parents," she wrote in her caption. "I have a lifetime of memories with Tony— starting with Goodfellas to The Sopranos and way beyond— but my God, did we have fun doing the Bensonhurst Spelling Bee—I’m still laughing. I hope he’s in heaven cracking everybody up now. Love you, my Pal…rest in peace."
Some of Sirico's other Sopranos colleagues also opened up about the tragic news. Edie Falco, who played Tony Soprano's wife, told Rolling Stone that "Tony Sirico was an original" and that "there was no one like him; deeply loyal and kind. And so funny."
James Gandolfini's son, Michael, also took to Instagram and remembered Sirico as "one of the kindest, fiercely loyal, and heartfelt men that I've ever known." Michael would go on to portray the younger version of his late father's character, Tony Soprano, in The Sopranos prequel, The Many Saints of Newark.
Sirico portrayed a mobster in Tony Soprano's close-knit crew in all six seasons of show. Sirico's manager, Bob McGowan, confirmed the news to CBS News, who said Sirico was "a great, loyal client" who "would do anything to help people in need." McGowan did not provide the cause of death. Michael Imperioli, who won an Emmy for playing Christopher Motisanti in the hit HBO series, shared the news of Sirico's death on Instagram.
"It pains me to say that my dear friend, colleague and partner in crime, the great TONY SIRICO has passed away today," the actor's lengthy statement read. "Tony was like no one else: he was as tough, as loyal and as big hearted as anyone I’ve ever known. I was at his side through so much: through good times and bad. But mostly good. And we had a lot of laughs. We found a groove as Christopher and Paulie and I am proud to say I did a lot of my best and most fun work with my dear pal Tony."