Frank Vincent, the 78-year-old character actor best known for playing mob types on The Sopranos and in multiple Martin Scorsese movies, died Wednesday during open-heart surgery, TMZ reports. In Scorsese’s Goodfellas, Vincent famously played the made mobster Billy Batts, who antagonized Joe Pesci with the memorable line, “Go home and get your shine box!” Vincent also showed up as a tough guy in two other Scorsese movies, usually alongside Pesci, an old friend (the two formed a comedy team, Vincent and Pesci, early in their careers, according to a 1996 New York Times interview). In Raging Bull, Pesci beat Vincent’s character in the head with a bottle; in Goodfellas, Pesci kills him again, prompting the movie’s main conflict. By Casino, in 1995, Vincent took revenge, killing Pesci’s mobster character with a bat. In 2004, Vincent joined The Sopranos, playing Tony’s nemesis Phil Leotardo. In all, Vincent had over 80 IMDb credits, including Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing and Jungle Fever. Vincent, born in North Adams, Massachusetts, was raised in Jersey City. Outside of acting, Vincent was an accomplished drummer, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and performed with Paul Anka, Del Shannon, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé, Trini Lopez, and the Belmonts.
Frank Vincent. Photo: Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images