We’re a few days behind on current news but, unfortunately, two longstanding names have been claimed by 2017. The first, Frank Vincent, passed away on September 13th during open heart surgery following a heart attack earlier this month.
Originally an aspiring musician, Vincent got his start in Hollywood in 1976 in the low budget gangster film, The Death Collector, which also starred Joe Pesci. Robert De Niro saw both men’s performances and passed their names on to legendary director Martin Scorsese. Scorsese was impressed by both of them and subsequently cast them in his 1980 film, Raging Bull. Vincent, along with Pesci and De Niro, was cast in two more Scorsese gangster films. He played Billy Batts in 1990’s Goodfellas and Frank Marino in 1995’s Casino.
One of Vincent’s most well known roles came in the form of Phil Leotardo, the boss of the Lupertazzi crime family, in HBO’s gangster television show, The Sopranos. As the opposition to James Gandolfini’s Tony Soprano, Vincent’s portrayal of Phil Leotardo provided the show a suitable rival in a heated battle for mob supremacy. Keeping with his usual gangster typecasting, Vincent also provided the voice for mob boss Salvatore Leone in Grand Theft Auto III and, later, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories.
All respects go to the family and friends of Frank Vincent.