'Sopranos' & 'Goodfellas' Star Frank Vincent Dead at 80

Sopranos' actor Frank Vincent dead

'Sopranos' & 'Goodfellas' Star Frank Vincent Dead at 80

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.

"Our family will never forget the Leotardo legacy", HBO wrote Wednesday night, posting a photo of Vincent smiling and smoking a cigar. According to TMZ, Vincent suffered a heart attack last week and underwent an open-heart surgery as a result.

The Associated Press said Vincent's family had confirmed the death in a statement and gave his age as 80, though some websites list his birth year as 1939.

Vincent's family released the following statement through a publicist (via Deadline): "Frank lived life on his terms, creating a dynamic and successful path in every endeavor he chose".

With his strong chin, manicured hair and steely glare, Vincent could bring an air of menace to nearly any atmosphere - an ability that he later played off of in cameos in rap music videos and ads for light beer.

He also voiced the character of a Mafia boss in several "Grand Theft Auto" computer and video games.

Vincent's Sopranos character, Phil Leotardo, was a rival of Tony Soprano's throughout the series.

"We were like the Smothers Brothers", Vincent told NJ.com.

Of the three films Vincent made with Scorsese, it's Goodfellas that provided the veteran star with his juiciest role. In that film, Vincent's character is beaten up in the Copacabana by Pesci's Joey LaMotta.

The North Adams, Massachusetts, native is survived by his son, Anthony.

Vincent started as a musician, playing drums for such acts as Paul Anka and Del Shannon. Together, they brought a sense of unpredictably violent reality to Scorsese's films featuring Robert De Niro, including in 1995's Casino.

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