'Sopranos' Villain Frank Vincent Dies (Photos)

| by Lauren Briggs

Actor Frank Vincent passed away on Sept. 13 at the age of 78.

Vincent, who was best known for playing mobsters and other tough men, suffered complications from open-heart surgery that he underwent after having a heart attack the week before, reports TMZ.

The 41-year show business veteran died while still on the operating table.

Vincent's most notable roles include Phil Leotardo of "The Sopranos" and Billy Batts of "Goodfellas," who uttered the iconic line: "Now go home and get your f**king shine box!"

The actor also appeared in a number of other films, including "Raging Bull," "Casino" and "Do the Right Thing."

Despite his penchant for playing mafia types, Vincent was reportedly far different from his characters. He discussed the issue of getting typecast with Ask Men in 2006:

Sure, it is a pigeonhole and Hollywood has a tendency to do that to you. They don't want to give to you a chance to stretch. But as a working actor, you have to work, you do what you can do… I mean, the mobsters are only people. It could be a corrupt cop, it could be a corrupt priest, it could be a corrupt banker, and it could be a corrupt gangster. So I approach each character individually -- what they are and what their back story is. The fact that they are in the same business is the common thread.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Vincent played music in a number of nightclubs where he regularly encountered the kinds of folk he went on to portray. He said that time gave him insight as to how they reacted to certain situations.

"I've seen people argue with each other," he explained of the people who inspired his on-screen personas. "I've seen people fight with each other. I've seen them kiss their girlfriends today and then tomorrow night come in with their wives. And you learn some of their style. It was very beneficial in terms of me interpreting that into the characters I do."

Vincent is not the first actor from the hit HBO show to pass away. In 2013, the pioneer program's star, James Gandolfini, died suddenly of a heart attack.

"James was a big, big panda," Vincent said of his on-screen rival, according to Rolling Stone. "He loved everybody, he treated everybody good. He was generous, just one of the guys."

Vincent credited "The Sopranos" for upping the quality of TV dramas and enticing the kinds of actors who thought "it was beneath them" to appear anywhere other than the silver screen to come to television.

Sources: TMZ, Ask Men, Rolling Stone / Featured Image: Jonelle B./Flickr / Embedded Images: Frank Vincent/Facebook (2)

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