Frank Vincent, Mob Boss Phil Leotardo on ‘The Sopranos,’ Dies at 78

frank_vincent

Frank Vincent, who played the vicious mob boss Phil Leotardo on The Sopranos, has died. He was 78.  Vincent died of complications from heart surgery in New Jersey, TMZ reported.

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Vincent also portrayed tough guys for director Martin Scorsese in Raging Bull (1980), Goodfellas (1990) — as the real-life Gambino gangster Billy Batts, he with the memorable line, “Go home and get your shine box!” — and Casino (1995).

 

On HBO’s The Sopranos, Leotardo often butted heads with James Gandolfini’s Tony Soprano as he eventually rose to become boss of the Lupertazzi crime family.

 

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) and Shark Tale (2004).

 

Vincent also appeared in Hype Williams’ Belly (1998) and served as the official acting coach to rappers DMX, Nas and Method Man on the film.

 

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 and Trini Lopez and the Belmonts.

 

Scorsese saw Vincent in The Death Collector (1976), which starred Joe Pesci, and cast him alongside Pesci and Robert De Niro as Salvi in the conic boxing movie Raging Bull.

 

In 2006, Vincent co-wrote the book A Guy’s Guide to Being a Man’s Man.

Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: AP; HBO
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