'Soprano' crew open hearts and wallets

Aug. 1, 2005 at 10:41 PM

NEW YORK, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- Tony Sirico, aka "The Sopranos" Paulie Walnuts, made his colorful castmates an offer they couldn't refuse and raised $465,000 for sick kids.

HBO stars James Gandolfini, Steve Van Zandt, Michael Imperioli, Vince Curatola, Edie Falco, Aida Turturro, Jamie-Lynn DiScala, Lorraine Bracco, Robert Iler, Dominic Chianese, Joe Gannascoli and creator David Chase were among 400 guests at the Long Island, N.Y., St. Jude's benefit Saturday night, the New York Daily News reported.

Sirico said he strong-armed his friends to attend the $500-dollar-a-head dinner after a friend asked him if he thought he would ultimately end up in heaven.

Sirico said his answer was "it's still kinda iffy, at best."

Seriously, Sircico's fellow "Sopranos" said they didn't blink when Sirico asked them to attend the benefit for his favorite charity.

"Tony literally makes you an offer you can't refuse," Imperioli told the Daily News. "He's always there for you, for everybody. So when he asks you to be there for sick children, you're there. Period."

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