Tony Sirico, who is famous for his role as Peter Paul in The Sopranos, has died at the age of 79.

The sad news was revealed to the public by his co-star Michael Imperioli on Friday through an Instagram post featuring both of them together.

Michael said, “It pains me to say that my dear friend, colleague and partner in crime, the great TONY SIRICO has passed away today.

“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.”

The cause of death of the actor has not been made public.

Imperioli wrote: ‘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. I will miss him forever. He is truly irreplaceable.

‘I send love to his family, friends and his many many fans. He was beloved and will never be forgotten. Heartbroken today. #thesopranos #hbo #tonysirico #pauliewalnuts’

Bracco, who played the role of psychiatrist in The Sopranos, stated she ‘adored’ him.

She wrote: “A stand-up guy who always had my back and who loved my children and my parents. 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 hope he’s in heaven cracking everybody up now. Love you, my pal.”

Jamie Lynn Sigler, who played the role of Meadow Soprano, called Tony Sirico “the real deal”.

She said: ‘Tony was the real deal in every sense of the word. He lived many lives, but with full passion in all of them. I met him when I was 16, and he made it clear from day one that he was my forever protector, and he was. I will remember him as a tremendous talent and energy that you could never look away from. I’m so lucky to have known him. My thoughts and prayers to all that were lucky enough to be loved by him.’

In January 1999, The Sopranos premiered and quickly became a tremendous success. Tony Sirico appeared in all six seasons.

Sirico grew up on the streets of Brooklyn, where he was a member of a real-life gang.