Frank Vincent, who played the mob boss Phil Leotardo on The Sopranos and appeared in several Martin Scorsese films, has died at the age of 78.
TMZ reported that Vincent had a heart attack last week and died Wednesday during open-heart surgery at a hospital in New Jersey.
Vincent was known not just for his role on The Sopranos, where through seven seasons his character rose to become the boss of the Lupertazzi crime family, but also for his roles in the Scorsese-directed films Raging Bull, Goodfellas, and Casino. Most recently, Vincent appeared in an episode of Law & Order: SVU. Last year, he was also the voice of Jon Gabagooli in the animated series Mr Pickles.
Vincent, who was born in North Adams, Massachusetts, and raised in Jersey City, co-wrote a book in 2006 called A Guy’s Guide to Being a Man’s Man; James Gandolfini, who passed away in 2013 and was Vincent’s co-star on the Sopranos, wrote the foreword.
The Blast reports that another of Vincent’s peers, the actor Vincent Pastore, sent an email to friends after hearing news of his friend’s death: “I just received a phone call that Frank Vincent has passed away … I’ll let all know about the services … We lost a great character actor and great man … May he always stay in our memory.”
Maureen Van Zandt, who played Gabriella Dante on The Sopranos, expressed her condolences on Twitter. “We lost one of our family today,” she wrote. “Frank Vincent. Wonderful actor and lovely man. Rest In Peace, Frankie.”
The CNN newscaster Jake Tapper also shared his condolences via Twitter, referencing Vincent’s most famous line as Billy Batts in the 1990 film Goodfellas: “Now go home and get your shinebox.”
In 2006, Vincent gave an interview to Ask Men on the heels of his book release. “The youth of today are so computerized and individualized that a lot of the stuff men used to know is lost on them,” he said. “That’s what we’re talking about: loyalty, respect, manners, and honor. You have got to have a good sense of humor, you have got to be tough and you have got to know how to dress.”