Actor Frank Vincent, Who Portrayed Mobsters In 'Goodfellas' And 'The Sopranos,' Dies

Sep 14, 2017
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Frank Vincent made a living playing New York mobsters in Martin Scorsese movies and the HBO series "The Sopranos." Vincent died yesterday not long after having heart surgery. His family says he was 80 years old. NPR's Mandalit del Barco has this remembrance.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: On screen, Frank Vincent was a dapper-looking tough guy, a fierce glare and a well-groomed head of hair. When his characters weren't throwing the F-bomb, they were getting pummeled or bumped off.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "RAGING BULL")

FRANK VINCENT: (As Salvy) Joey, there's nothing going on over here.

JOE PESCI: (As Joey) I'm sorry. I really am. We're good friends. We can straighten this...

(SOUNDBITE OF BREAKING GLASS)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTORS: (As characters, screaming).

DEL BARCO: In Martin Scorsese's 1980 film "Raging Bull," Vincent's character was beaten to a pulp by Joe Pesci's character. Ten years later in Scorsese's "Goodfellas," Pesci stomped and stabbed him to death after Vincent delivered this famous line.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "GOODFELLAS")

VINCENT: (As Billy Batts) Now go home and get your [expletive] shinebox.

PESCI: (As Tommy DeVito) Mother-[expletive]. You...

DEL BARCO: But Vincent got his revenge in Scorsese's 1995 film "Casino," smashing Pesci's head in with a baseball bat. He showed up again as a Mafioso on "The Sopranos."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE SOPRANOS")

VINCENT: (As Phil Leotardo) Leotardo - that's my [expletive] legacy.

DEL BARCO: Vincent played Jersey mob boss Phil Leotardo.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE SOPRANOS")

VINCENT: (As Phil Leotardo) Me, I'm an old man. I'd like to do it over, boy. Let me tell you. Twenty years inside - for what, to protect the likes of Rusty [expletive] Millio, Doc Santoro?

GREG ANTONACCI: (As Butch DeConcini) You were a man, Phil. That's saying a lot nowadays.

DEL BARCO: Vincent once wrote a book called "A Guy's Guide To Being A Man's Man." After all, he'd been an expert on the Rat Pack life. Throughout the 1960s, he was a drummer, playing nightclubs with his old friend Joe Pesci as a singer long before they both began acting.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT YOU'RE IN LOVE WITH ME")

PESCI: (Singing) Your eyes are blue, your kisses, too. I never knew what they could do. I can't believe it.

UNIDENTIFIED SINGER: (Singing) I can't believe it.

PESCI: (Singing) You're in love with me.

UNIDENTIFIED SINGER: (Singing) I'm in love with you.

DEL BARCO: Ladies and gentlemen, Frank Vincent and the Aristocats. Mandalit del Barco, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.