Frank Vincent: Dead at 78
Even if you don’t know Frank Vincent by name, you certainly recognize the face of the acclaimed character actor.
He played a brutal mobster on the critically acclaimed series, The Sopranos. He’s also acted in multiple Scorsese films, including Goodfellas.
Sadly, though he will live forever on film, Frank Vincent has passed away today.
TMZ reports that Frank Vincent has died, passing away in a New Jersey hospital.
The actor was 78 years old.
Following a heart attack last week, Frank Vincent underwent open heart surgery today.
Every surgery has its risks, and unfortunately, Frank passed away during the surgery itself.
His acting career spanned 41 years, and you don’t need to be an A-list movie star to accumulate fans.
He will be sorely missed.
Even if you’re not a movie buff, you likely recognize Frank Vincent from his role on The Sopranos.
Vincent portrayed a brutal mob boss by the name of Phil Leotardo.
Leotardo was a vicious character — not something that every actor can pull off — and was the archenemy of the protagonist of the series, Tony Soprano.
It takes more than a look and an accent to play that kind of role, and it takes a lot of acting talent to play opposite of James Gandolfini.
Their characters went head-to-head as they struggled to accumulate power in the days before Game of Thrones dominated the minds of HBO’s viewers.
For that matter, even if you aren’t a film buff, you’ve at least heard of Goodfellas.
Scorsese films tend to speak for themselves.
In Goodfellas, Frank Vincent portrayed Billy Batts.
Admittedly, Frank’s role wasn’t that extensive — Billy Batts, a made man for the Gambino crime family, is murdered by the film’s protagonists, so his screen time was limited.
He also appeared in Scorsese films like Raging Bull (where his character was also murdered) and Casino.
After years and years of playing mobsters, Frank Vincent even had a cameo in one of the final episodes of Stargate Atlantis, in an episode where gambling and crime were in play.
Some character actors gripe about being typecast, but the ones who embrace it as Frank Vincent did can enjoy a career that spans a lifetime.
The Massachusetts native, raised in New Jersey, was also a drummer and worked as an acting coach.
In 2006, Frank Vincent was a co-author of a book: A Guy’s Guide to Being a Man’s Man.
We have to appreciate that tongue-in-cheek title.
Great talent like his will be missed.