‘The Sopranos’ actor Frank Vincent died at 78 after suffering from heart issues. Vincent was an iconic and household face when it comes to the mob genre, playing some of the most legendary roles in movies.
He’s survived by his wife Katherine, daughters Debra and Maria, son Anthony and two grandchildren.
Frank Vincent a legend in the industry
Even though Vincent was a household face in the mob genre, playing some of the most iconic roles in the genre, his most iconic role was as New York’s main man Phil Leotardo in HBO’s flagship show ‘The Sopranos’.
The making of a legend
Born in North Adams, Vincent was raised in Jersey City, where he acted in school plays and learned piano, trumpet, and drums. As an adult, he became a session drummer for such singers as Paul Anka, Del Shannon, Trini Lopez and The Belmonts.
In 1975, he made his feature film acting debut in Ralph DeVito’s ‘Death Collector’, where he was spotted by Scorsese. The actor succeeded portraying some of the most legendary mob heads.
Such as Billy Batts in ‘Goodfellas’, Vincent delivered one of the most memorable lines of the gangster genre, when he ill-advisedly told Joe Pesci’s Tommy DeVito, “Now go home and get your f***in’ shinebox.”
The two actors had a long history: They started out playing music together in nightclubs, with Pesci on guitar — and eventually they realized their outsize personalities were captivating audiences. Their band name? The Arist-o-cats.
“We were like the Smothers Brothers,” Vincent told once.
Vincent made his film debut alongside Pesci in 1976’s ‘Death Collector’, and they parlayed that low-budget movie into key roles in Martin Scorsese’s 1980 masterpiece ‘Raging Bull’ Eventually, he took on his most iconic role on ‘The Sopranos.’
Which awarded the Italian-American Entertainer of the Year Award by the Italian Tribune. Vincent also received a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series for his role with ‘The Sopranos’ in 2008.
In 2006, as ‘The Sopranos’ was coming to an end, Vincent also published a book: ‘The Guy’s Guide to Being a Man’s Man’. More recently, Vincent appeared on shows like ‘Law & Order: SVU’ and ‘Stargate: Atlantis’, and voiced a character on Adult Swim animated series ‘Mr. Pickles’ from 2014 to 2016.
Also, Vincent’s gruff voice was so indelible that it was featured in the video game ‘Grand Theft Auto’, where he played Don Salvatore Leone.
Recently, Vincent was asked what the biggest lesson he’s learned from show biz has been. The actor cited the ability to have humility.
“The biggest lesson probably would be to have a little humility and to realize that people are people and that everyone’s different,” Vincent said. “People approach you in a different way when you’re a celebrity—some are nice, some are not nice.”
Fans, friends anf family took to social media to honor the veteran actor and share heartfelt words.
Our family will never forget the Leotardo legacy.
RIP to an HBO legend, Frank Vincent. pic.twitter.com/9zlfk9A7yg
— HBO (@HBO) September 13, 2017
We lost one of our family today. Frank Vincent. Wonderful actor and lovely man. Rest In Peace, Frankie.
— Maureen Van Zandt (@MVZaGoGo) September 13, 2017
Damn the Great Frank Vincent has passed Consummate NYC actor from Goodfellas,Raging Bull & Sopranos.Good guy who had a great sense of humor pic.twitter.com/JOVl0zEFRQ
— MichaelRapaport (@MichaelRapaport) September 13, 2017
— Jerry O'Connell (@MrJerryOC) September 13, 2017
Rest in peace, Frank Vincent, unless of course they decide to develop your gravesite into condominiums in 6 months pic.twitter.com/gT60c2NIuh
— Matt Oswalt (@MattOswaltVA) September 13, 2017
RIP Frank Vincent, who delivered one of the best movie lines of all time: Now go home and get your shinebox pic.twitter.com/ezJwKD0osv
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) September 13, 2017