Frank Vincent

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Frank Vincent
Frank Vincent.png
Vincent in 2012
Frank Vincent Gattuso Jr.

(1937-04-15)April 15, 1937
DiedSeptember 13, 2017(2017-09-13) (aged 80)
Years active1976–2017
Kathleen Vincent
(m. 1970)

Frank Vincent Gattuso Jr. (April 15, 1937 – September 13, 2017)[1] was an American actor.[2] During a five-decade career, Vincent often portrayed mobsters. He was a frequent collaborator of filmmaker Martin Scorsese, appearing as Salvy in Raging Bull (1980), Billy Batts in Goodfellas (1990), and Frank Marino in Casino (1995).[3] On television, he played Phil Leotardo on the fifth and sixth seasons of the HBO crime drama The Sopranos (2004–2007). Vincent also voiced Salvatore Leone in the Grand Theft Auto video game series from 2001 to 2005.

Early life[edit]

Vincent, who was of Italian descent with roots in Sicily and Naples, was born in North Adams, Massachusetts, and raised in Jersey City, New Jersey.[4] His father, Frank Vincent Gattuso Sr., was an iron worker and businessman.[5][6] He had two brothers, Nick and Jimmy, and a half-sister, Fran.[5]


Skilled at the drums, piano and trumpet, Vincent originally aspired to a career in music. By day he was a studio musician who worked with many recording artists such as Paul Anka and Del Shannon. Vincent had his own jazz band, billed "Frank Vincent and the Aristocats," that played in the evenings. In 1969, Vincent's band needed a piano player to secure bookings and Vincent ended up hiring Joe Pesci to play guitar. As the popularity of lounge music waned, Vincent and Pesci turned to stand-up comedy, performing as "Vincent and Pesci" from 1970 to 1976. Their act coupled Abbott and Costello-inspired double act antics with Don Rickles-style insult comedy, which proved popular. During this time, both men developed a strong professional and personal friendship.[7][8]

Vincent and Pesci later landed parts in the low-budget gangster film The Death Collector (1976), where they were spotted by Robert De Niro. De Niro told Martin Scorsese about both Vincent and Pesci. Scorsese was impressed by their performances and hired Vincent to appear in a supporting role in Raging Bull (1980), in which he once again appeared with Pesci and co-starred with De Niro.[9] Vincent appeared in small roles in two Spike Lee films: Do the Right Thing (1989) and Jungle Fever (1991). In the latter, he played the abusive patriarch of an Italian-American family.[10]

One of his notable appearances in foreign films was as a supporting character in Juan José Jusid's Made in Argentina (1987), in which he played Vito, a wealthy Manhattan businessman who befriends the film's protagonist, a substance-abuse counselor who treated Vito's son, played by Luis Brandoni.[11]

Vincent was often cast as a gangster.[11] For example, in Scorsese's film Goodfellas (1990), he played Billy Batts, a made man in the Gambino crime family;[12] he also played a role in Scorsese's film Casino (1995) as Frank Marino (based on real-life gangster Frank Cullotta), the sidekick of Pesci's character.[13]

In 1996, Vincent appeared in the music video for rap artist Nas' song "Street Dreams."[9] In the television movie Gotti (1996), Vincent played Robert "D.B." DiBernardo, an associate of Mafia boss John Gotti's, whose life the film chronicled.[10] In the HBO TV series The Sopranos, he had his most prominent role as Phil Leotardo, a ruthless New York City gangster who, as boss of the show's fictional Lupertazzi crime family, becomes the show's chief antagonist in the final season.[14]

In 1999, he won the Italian American Entertainer of the Year Award. Another noted performance is his appearance in the film Remedy (2003).[9]

In 2003, Vincent portrayed Danny Santini in the film This Thing of Ours, whose associate producer was Sonny Franzese, longtime mobster and underboss of the Colombo crime family, and whose director was Genovese crime family capo Danny Provenzano (grandnephew of Anthony Provenzano).[15][16][17] Later that year, Vincent testified in court on the behalf of Provenzano at repeal sentences; Provenzano was serving a 10-year sentence for racketeering and other charges.[18]

One of Vincent's lighter-hearted roles was in a British television commercial for Peugeot cars.[14] In early 2005, he appeared on Irish television in a series of commercials for Irish bank Permanent TSB.[12]

In video games, Vincent voiced the character of Mafia boss Salvatore Leone in the video game Grand Theft Auto III (2001). He later reprised the role in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004) and Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (2005).[12]

In 2006 he released a book, A Guy's Guide to Being a Man's Man to positive reviews.[13] His idol was Dean Martin.[19] He has also released a line of hand-rolled cigars which have his picture prominently displayed on the band.[20]

He played Lieutenant Marino in the independent film The Tested (2008), directed by Russell Costanzo.[21] The following year, he made a cameo appearance alongside fellow Sopranos actor Steve Schirripa in the Stargate Atlantis episode "Vegas" (2009).[22] The following year, he starred in Chicago Overcoat (2009) as the main protagonist.[13]

In 2013, he starred in the hit IDW Publishing comic series Killogy[23][24] created by Life of Agony's Alan Robert as the character Sally Sno Cones alongside Marky Ramone of The Ramones. The series was nominated at the Ghastly Awards for Best Mini-Series and won multiple Horror Comic Awards from the Horror News Network. In 2014, the comics were adapted into 3D-animation for the Killogy animated series,[25][26] in which the cast of the original comic series contributed their voices.

A resident of Nutley, New Jersey, Vincent used his drumming skills in an impromptu performance at a township holiday concert.[27]

Death and legacy[edit]

In early September 2017, Vincent suffered a heart attack.[28] He underwent open heart surgery in New Jersey on September 13; however, he died shortly thereafter. Vincent was 80 years old.[29] Director John Gallagher, who worked with Vincent on Street Hunter and The Deli, noted that the actor lied about his age to avoid discrimination, and therefore many sources listed his birth year as 1939.[30]

Vincent's remains were cremated at a funeral home in Montclair, New Jersey, and a funeral service was held on September 16.[31]



Year Title Role Notes
1976 The Death Collector Bernie Feldshuh
1980 Raging Bull Salvatore "Salvy"
1982 Dear Mr. Wonderful Louie
1983 Baby It's You Vinnie
Easy Money Mobster Dressed In A Trenchcoat Uncredited
1984 The Pope of Greenwich Village 1st Crew Chief
1985 Stiffs Mafia Thug
1986 Wise Guys Louie Fontucci
1987 Made in Argentina Vito
1988 Lou, Pat, and Joe D Pop Corelli
1989 Do the Right Thing Charlie
Last Exit to Brooklyn Priest
The Afterlife of Grandpa Vinny Valenti Short film
1990 Goodfellas Billy "Batts"
Street Hunter Don Mario Romano
1991 Mortal Thoughts Dominic, Joyce's Father
Jungle Fever Mike Tucci
Dead and Alive: The Race for Gus Farace Joseph F. Zanni Jr. Television film
1994 Men Lie Uncle Frank
Federal Hill Sal
Hand Gun Earl
1995 Ten Benny Ray DiGlovanni Sr.
1995 Casino Frank Marino
Animal Room Arcade Owner
1996 On Seventh Avenue Angelo Occipente Television film
She's the One Ron
Gotti Robert "D.B." DiBernardo Television film
Night Falls on Manhattan Police Captain
West New York Tom Colletti
1997 Grind Nick
Cop Land PDA President Vince Lassaro
The North End Dominic "Dom" Di Bella
The Deli Tommy "Tomatoes"
The Good Life Unknown
Made Men Tommy "The Bull" Vitaglia
1998 Witness to the Mob Frankie DeCicco Television film
Undercurrent Eddie Torelli
Belly Roger
Vig Pete Television film
1999 NetForce Johnny Stompato Television film
Entropy Sal
Penance Suicide Man Short film
2000 Isn't She Great Aristotle Onassis
Gun Shy Carmine Minetti
If You Only Knew Gino
Ropewalk Unknown
The Crew Marty
Under Hellgate Bridge Sal "Big Sal"
2001 Smokin' Stogies Johnny "Big"
Snipes Johnnie Marandino
2002 Hamlet in the Hamptons Michael
2003 Rubout Frank Santello Television film
A Tale of Two Pizzas Frank Bianco
This Thing of Ours Danny Santini
Remembering Mario Joey "Big Ears"
2004 Shark Tale Great White #3 Voice
Coalition Alvaro
2005 Remedy Uncle Charles
Van Vorst Park Carlo
2006 Last Request Father Brice
2007 City Teacher Unknown
2009 Chicago Overcoat: The Glory Days Are Back Lou Marazano
2010 Stiffs Jimmy "The Limo King"
The Tested Lieutenant Marino
2011 Spy Gaetano
2018 The Killer's Kiss Michael Gazzo Posthumous release


Year Title Role Notes
1987 Leg Work Detective Episode: "Peaches"
1989 The Paradise Club Walter MacHeath Episode: "Unfrocked in Babylon"
1991–1999 Law & Order John Franchetta / J.Z. 2 episodes
1992 Civil Wars Matty DiNofrio Episode: "Mob Psychology"
1993 The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles Johnny Torrio Episode: "Young Indiana Jones and the Mystery of the Blues"
1994 Walker, Texas Ranger Paul Mancini Episode: "The Prodigal Son"
1996 Swift Justice Tony Accardo Episode: "Stones"
1996–1997 New York Undercover Bates / Ray Tarrafino 2 episodes
1997 Cosby Dorothy's Husband Episode: "Florida"
2000 NYPD Blue Dino "The Rat" Ferrera 2 episodes
2004–2007 The Sopranos Phil Leotardo 31 episodes
2008 Stargate Atlantis Poker Player #1 Episode: "Vegas"
2014–2016 Mr. Pickles Jon Gabagooli 2 episodes
2016 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Bishop Cattalano Episode: "Unholiest Alliance"
2017 Neo Yokio Uncle Albert Episode: "Hamptons Water Magic"

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes Notes
2001 Grand Theft Auto III Salvatore Leone Voice
2004 Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
2005 Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
2021 Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition Archival recordings
Remaster of Grand Theft Auto III & San Andreas only.



  • Vincent, Frank; Priggé, Steven (2006). A Guy's Guide to Being a Man's Man. Berkley Books. ISBN 978-0425208762.


  1. ^ "'Sopranos' Actor Frank Vincent Dead At 80". Huffington Post. September 13, 2017.
  2. ^ Sandra Brennan (2012). "Frank Vincent". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 8, 2013.
  3. ^ Staff reports (September 15, 2017) "Sopranos actor made a name playing gangsters" The Washington Post, page B5 [1] Retrieved September 17, 2017
  4. ^ "13 Questions With Frank Vincent". Ask Men. June 19, 2015. Archived from the original on November 19, 2015. Retrieved June 19, 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Frank Vincent Biography (1939-)". Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  6. ^ "Killing Time with Frank Vincent". Cigar Aficionado. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  7. ^ Lewine, Edward (February 18, 1996). "Frank Vincent's Two-Limo Night". New York Times.
  8. ^ Eidelstein, Eric. "The Mysterious Disappearing Act of Joe Pesci". Complex.
  9. ^ a b c Natalie J. Stone (September 13, 2017). "Sopranos Actor Frank Vincent Dies at 78: Report". People. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  10. ^ a b Rebecca Rubin (September 13, 2017). "Frank Vincent, 'Sopranos' and 'Goodfellas' Actor, Dies at 78". Variety. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  11. ^ a b Jayme Deewester (September 13, 2017). "Reports: Frank Vincent, go-to movie mobster from 'Goodfellas, 'Sopranos,' dies at 78". USA Today. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  12. ^ a b c d "Frank Vincent, Mob Boss Phil Leotardo on 'The Sopranos,' Dies at 78". The Hollywood Reporter. September 13, 2017. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  13. ^ a b c "Frank Vincent, had roles in 'The Sopranos,' 'Goodfellas', dies at 78". Chicago Sun-Times. September 13, 2017. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  14. ^ a b ""The Sopranos" Actor Frank Vincent Dies at 78". Entertainment Online. September 13, 2017. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  15. ^ "Law and Order; In the Can", The New York Times, November 3, 2002
  16. ^ "This Thing of Ours". IMDb.
  17. ^ "Art imitates life in NY mobster world". The Guardian. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  18. ^ "Art Imitated Crime, but the Jail Term Is Real". The New York Times. September 17, 2003. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  19. ^ Vincent, Frank (2006). A Guy's Guide to Being a Man's Man.
  20. ^ "Frank Vincent". Official Web Site of Frank Vincent. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  21. ^ "The Tested". June 4, 2018. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  22. ^ "GateWorld » Last additions - PDVD 2164 - Stargate Image Gallery". Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  24. ^ "Shoot First, Ask Questions Later: The Killogy Interview with Alan Robert". Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  25. ^ "Killogy: The Animated Series". Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  26. ^ "'The Boondocks' Rodney Barnes Developing 'Killogy' Animated Series". May 15, 2014. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  27. ^ Jongsma, Joshua (September 14, 2017). "Sopranos actor Frank Vincent of Nutley dies". The Record. Bergen County, NJ. Retrieved September 26, 2017. Actor Frank Vincent of The Sopranos and Goodfellas fame — a Nutley resident — died Wednesday at the age of 80.... In the summer of 2016, Vincent performed on the drums during Nutley's concert in Memorial Park. Scarpelli said it was a 'spur of the moment thing' when Vincent joined the concert.
  28. ^ Destanis, Rachel (September 13, 2017). "'The Sopranos' and 'Goodfellas' actor Frank Vincent dead at 78". New York Daily News. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  29. ^ Deerwester, Jayme; Keveney, Bill (September 13, 2017). "Frank Vincent, go-to movie mobster from 'Goodfellas, 'Sopranos,' dies at 80". USA Today. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  30. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (September 13, 2017). "Frank Vincent, Mobster on 'The Sopranos' and in 'Goodfellas,' Dies at 80". The New York Times. Retrieved September 15, 2017.
  31. ^ "FRANK VINCENT BODY CREMATED For Presentation at Memorial Service". TMZ. September 16, 2017. Retrieved September 16, 2017.
  32. ^ "Filmography". Frank Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  33. ^ "Frank Vincent". Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  34. ^ "The wild, untold story of The Good Life". Little White Lies. February 11, 2017. Retrieved February 24, 2017.

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