Frank Vincent, 'Sopranos' actor, dead at 80

Frank Vincent, 'Sopranos' actor, dead at 80

A native of North Adams, Mass., Vincent was raised in Jersey City, N.J. and became a drummer, performing with the likes of Paul Anka, Del Shannon, Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme and Trini Lopez and the Belmonts.

Frank Vincent, famous for his role in the popular TV show Sopranos, has unfortunately passed away aged 78. Whether it was Salvy Batts spending too much time with Joey LaMotta's sister-in-law in "Raging Bull" or Billy Batts pestering Tommy DeVito in "GoodFellas" about his history as a shoeshine boy, Vincent always had a knack for playing the man who would set off Pesci's characters, and the two actors had some phenomenal scenes together.

Born in MA but raised in New Jersey, Vincent originally wanted to have a career in music but switched to acting when he got a role in a low-budget mob movie called The Death Collector alongside another up-and-coming actor named Joe Pesci. (Pesci plays guitar.) The two had once worked up a comedy act.

His film résumé also included The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984), Brian De Palma's Wise Guys (1986), Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing (1989) and Jungle Fever (1991), Sidney Lumet's Night Falls on Manhattan (1996), James Mangold's Cop Land (1997), Shark Tale (2004) and Chicago Overcoat (2009).

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"All I can say is we had a lot of fun".

Vincent was perhaps best known for his role as Phil Leotardo on HBO's hit series "The Sopranos", which can now probably be considered an all-time classic and could be in line for a prequel. The character appeared in more than 30 episodes before being eventually killed off by Tony's men in the series finale.

In 2006, Vincent published A Guy's Guide to Being a Man's Man. He expressed surprise, since the character is so tough. "It had to do with the fact that he exudes confidence and power", he wrote. "For the record, there's a good bit of myself in Phil Leotardo".