Frank Vincent, memorable screen wiseguy, dies

Ebony Scott
September 17, 2017

Portraying 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".

According to ABC 2 News, Vincent's family has stated that he died peacefully on Wednesday, September 13. He had suffered a heart attack a week earlier.

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. Leotardo wasn't the first Mafia character played by Vincent.

Vincent, who played mob boss Phil Leotardo on HBO's The Sopranos, passed away following complications from heart surgery in New Jersey on Wednesday.

In addition to The Sopranos, Vincent made small-screen appearances on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, NYPD Blue and Walker, Texas Ranger.

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Vincent started acting in the mid-1970s and was a longtime friend of frequent Scorsese collaborator Joe Pesci.

Given that he starred in several Martin Scorsese films, the legendary filmmaker penned a heartfelt message about Vincent after hearing of his death.

According to Gallagher, Vincent was "heartbroken" that he didn't get the role of Uncle Junior, the uncle of the show's main character, Tony Soprano.

Of the three films Vincent made with Scorsese, it's Goodfellas that provided the veteran star with his juiciest role.

Vincent, who was well recognized for his tough-guy roles, created an acting career that spanned 41 years. The New Jersey native's first Scorsese film was 1980's Raging Bull, followed by Goodfellas in 1990, and Casino in 1995. Thanks to his exceptional work in fantastic films and TV series, Vincent's legacy will live on indefinitely.

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