Sopranos and Goodfellas Actor Frank Vincent Passes Away at 78

Posted 2017/09/13 0 0

Frank Vincent, who played the vicious mob boss Phil Leotardo on The Sopranos, has died. He was 78.

 

TMZ reported that Vincent suffered a heart attack last week and passed away Wednesday during open-heart surgery at a hospital in New Jersey.

 

Vincent was known not just for his role on The Sopranos, the late actor began acting in 1976 when he co-starred in the low-budget crime film “The Death Collector” alongside Joe Pesci. Vincent then portrayed tough guys for director Martin Scorsese in Raging Bull (1980), Goodfellas (1990), as the real-life Gambino gangster Billy Batts, he with the memorable line, "Go home and get your shine box!" and Casino (1995).

On HBO's The Sopranos, Leotardo often butted heads with James Gandolfini's Tony Soprano as he eventually rose to become boss of the Lupertazzi crime family.

"He didn't fool around. Phil was serious," Vincent said in a 2011 interview. "He had a job to do and he thought, you know, 'This Soprano guy is from Jersey, what does that mean? We are New Yorkers! The Jersey mob is nothing — they don't even prick their fingers when they do the ceremony.' Some of the writing for Phil was just brilliant."

Vincent also acted in two of Spike Lee’s films, “Do the Right Thing” and “Jungle Fever,” as well as the movies “The Pope of Greenwich Village,” “Wise Guys,” “Night Falls on Manhattan,” and “Shark Tale.”

In addition to his film and television career, he voiced the character of Mafia boss Salvatore Leone in “Grand Theft Auto III,” and reprised the role in two additional “Grand Theft Auto” titles. More recently, he starred in the movie “Chicago Overcoat,” and made a cameo in an episode of “Stargate Atlantis.”

Vincent was also a musician, comedian, producer and author - he wrote A Guy's Guide to Being A Man's Man.

Actor Vincent Pastore, who co-starred with Vincent in The Sopranos, said in an email quoted by website The Blast: "We lost a great character actor and great man... May he always stay in our memory."

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