Sopranos actor Frank Vincent died on Wednesday, September 13, in New Jersey, a source confirms to Us Weekly. He was 78.
Aside from playing New York mob boss Phil Leotardo — the nemesis to the late James Gandolfini’s Tony Soprano — on the hit HBO series, the actor was known for his roles in Martin Scorsese films Raging Bull, Goodfellas and Casino. Scorsese discovered Vincent after seeing his acting debut in 1975’s Death Collector, according to Vincent’s website.
Though primarily known for acting, Vincent was also a musician, comedian, author and producer. The North Adams, Massachusetts, native had one son, Anthony, who is also an actor.
The A Guy's Guide to Being a Man's Man author costarred alongside Frank Pellegrino in both The Sopranos and Goodfellas. Pellegrino passed away in January following a battle with lung cancer at age 72.
According to TMZ, Vincent died while undergoing open heart surgery he had on Wednesday, after suffering a heart attack last week. Upon hearing the news of his passing, many fans have taken to Twitter to express their grief and praise his talent. "Sadden to hear the passing of Frank Vincent aka Billy Batts, aka Phil Leotardo,” one user wrote. "Mob films shan't be the same.”
Another added: "Rumors of Frank Vincent's passing true? One of the best ever character actors. RIP"