The Sopranos Actor Frank Vincent Dies at 78

Character actor dies in surgery after suffering a heart attack

By Meg Swertlow Sep 13, 2017 9:19 PMTags
Frank Vincent Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

Former The Sopranos actor Frank Vincent, 78, died earlier today in a New Jersey hospital after complications during open heart surgery.

His rep confirmed to E! News that he "passed peacefully" Wednesday, "surrounded by friends and family." The actor had "been working for years with heart problems but his love and dedication to his craft led him to continue. Frank has not had a heart surgery in years."

In addition to playing Tony Soprano's nemesis Phil Leotardo, the film and TV tough guy was also known for his many mafia roles in several Martin Scorsese films including Casino, Raging Bull and Billy Batts in Goodfellas. In the Oscar-winning film, he famously said, "Go home and get your shine box!"

His first film appearance was in 1976 in the low-budget crime film The Death Collector, opposite Joe Pesci.

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Director John Gallagher, who worked with the actor in Street Hunter, The Deli, and Animal Room, also posted about the sad news on his Facebook, writing a touching and lengthy tribute to the actor, who worked for over 40 years in the business of show.

"I could write a book about my times with Frank, all beautiful joyous memories, but today in our grief thoughts race to his beloved wife Kathy and his grown children. Requiescat in pace FV, see ya on the other side, love always JG."

Vincent's Sopranos co-star Vincent Pastore took to his Facebook to write a message to honor and remember the screen gem: "He was my mentor, my inspiration. We just lost Frank [.] May he forever rest in peace [.] A great legacy [.] 'Now get your shine box'..."

Visiting hours will be from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 16, concluding with a memorial service at 6:30 p.m. at Caggiano Memorial Home in Montclair, N.J.

Our hearts go out to Vincent's friends and family.

TMZ first reported news of the actor's death.