Frank Vincent Gattuso Jr. (April 15, 1937 – September 13, 2017), known professionally as Frank Vincent, was an American actor, musician, and author. He played prominent roles in the HBO series The Sopranos and in several films for director Martin Scorsese: Raging Bull (1980), Goodfellas (1990), and Casino (1995).
Vincent in 2012
Frank Vincent Gattuso Jr.
April 15, 1937
|Died||September 13, 2017 80) (aged|
New Jersey, U.S.
|Occupation||Actor, musician, author|
(m. 1970; his death 2017)
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. His father, Frank Vincent Gattuso Sr., was an iron worker and businessman. He had two brothers, Nick and Jimmy, and a half-sister, Fran.
Skilled at the drums, piano, and trumpet, Vincent originally aspired to a career in music, and by day, was a studio musician who worked with many recording artists, such as Paul Anka and Del Shannon. Vincent had his own jazz band that would play in the evenings, billed "Frank Vincent and the Aristocats." In 1969, Vincent's band needed a piano player to secure bookings, but Vincent ended up hiring a guitar player named Joe Pesci. As the popularity of lounge music waned, Vincent and Pesci would instead turn 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 with crowds. During this time, both men developed a strong professional and personal friendship with one another. Vincent and Pesci later landed parts in the low-budget gangster movie 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. Vincent soon thereafter 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).
One of his notable appearances in foreign film was in Juan José Jusid's Made in Argentina, in which he played Vito, a wealthy Manhattan businessman who befriends the substance abuse counselor who treated his son.
Vincent was often cast as a gangster. For example, in Scorsese's film Goodfellas (1990), he played Billy Batts, a made man in the Gambino crime family; 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.
In 1996, Vincent appeared in the music video for rap artist Nas' song "Street Dreams." 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. 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.
Vincent also had a leading role in the heist movie This Thing of Ours (2003), wherein he had a brief association with alleged Genovese crime family capo Danny Provenzano (grandnephew of Anthony Provenzano) and Colombo crime family underboss Sonny Franzese, who is arguably the oldest American Mafia member and is alleged to have murdered around 50 people; Vincent is pictured with them alongside former Sopranos actors including Vincent Pastore. In 2003, Vincent testified in court twice on behalf of Provenzano at repeal sentences; Provenzano was serving a 10-year sentence for racketeering and other charges.
One of Vincent's lighter-hearted roles was in a British television commercial for Peugeot cars. In early 2005, he appeared on Irish television in a series of television commercials for Irish bank Permanent TSB.
In 1999, he won the Italian American Entertainer of the Year Award. Another noted performance is his appearance in the film Remedy (2003).
In video games, Vincent voiced the character of Mafia boss Salvatore Leone in the video game Grand Theft Auto III (2001). He later reprised that role in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004) and Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (2005).
In 2006, he released a book, A Guy's Guide to Being a Man's Man to positive reviews. His idol was Dean Martin. He has also released a line of hand-rolled cigars which have his picture prominently displayed on the band.
He played Lieutenant Marino in the independent film The Tested (2008), directed by Russell Costanzo. The following year, he made a cameo appearance alongside fellow Sopranos actor Steve Schirripa in the Stargate Atlantis episode "Vegas" (2009). The year following that, he starred in Chicago Overcoat (2009) as the main protagonist.
In 2013, he starred in the hit IDW Publishing comic series Killogy 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 a 3D animation for the Killogy animated series, 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.
Death and legacy
In early September 2017, Vincent suffered a heart attack. He underwent open heart surgery in New Jersey on September 13; however, he died shortly thereafter. Vincent was 80 years old. 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.
Vincent's remains were cremated at a funeral home in Montclair, New Jersey. A funeral service was held on September 16.
- 1976: The Death Collector as Bernie Feldshuh
- 1980: Raging Bull as Salvy
- 1982: Dear Mr. Wonderful as Louie
- 1983: Baby It's You as Vinnie
- 1983: Easy Money as Mobster Dressed in a Trenchcoat (uncredited)
- 1984: The Pope of Greenwich Village as 1st Crew Chief
- 1985: Stiffs as Mafia Thug
- 1986: Wise Guys as Louie Fontucci
- 1987: Made in Argentina
- 1988: Lou, Pat, and Joe D as Pop Corelli
- 1989: Do the Right Thing as Charlie
- 1989: Last Exit to Brooklyn as Priest
- 1989: The Paradise Club (TV Series) as Walter MacHeath
- 1989: The Afterlife of Grandpa (Short) as Vinny Valenti
- 1990: Goodfellas as Billy Batts (based on William Bentvena)
- 1990: Street Hunter as Don Mario Romano
- 1991: Mortal Thoughts as Dominic, Joyce's Father
- 1991: Jungle Fever as Mike Tucci
- 1991: Dead and Alive: The Race for Gus Farace (TV Movie) as Joseph F. Zanni Jr.
- 1991–1999: Law & Order (TV Series) as John Franchetta / J.Z.
- 1992: Civil Wars (TV Series) as Matty DiNofrio
- 1993: The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (TV Series) as Johnny Torrio
- 1994: Men Lie as Uncle Frank
- 1994: Federal Hill as Sal
- 1994: Walker, Texas Ranger (TV Series) as Paul Mancini
- 1994: Hand Gun as Earl
- 1995: Ten Benny as Ray Diglovanni Sr.
- 1995: Casino as Frank Marino
- 1995: Animal Room as an Arcade Owner
- 1996: On Seventh Avenue as (TV Movie) Angelo Occipente
- 1996: Swift Justice (TV Series) as Tony Accardo
- 1996: She's the One as Ron
- 1996: Gotti (TV Movie) as Robert "D.B." DiBernardo
- 1996: Night Falls on Manhattan as Police Captain
- 1996: West New York as Tom Colletti
- 1996–1997: New York Undercover (TV Series) as Bates / Ray Tarrafino
- 1997: Cosby (TV Series)
- 1997: Grind as Nick
- 1997: Cop Land as PDA President Lassaro
- 1997: The North End as Dom Di Bella
- 1997: The Deli as Tommy Tomatoes
- 1997: The Good Life (Never released)
- 1997: Made Men as Tommy "the Bull" Vitaglia
- 1998: Witness to the Mob (TV Movie) as Frankie DeCicco
- 1998: Undercurrent as Eddie Torelli
- 1998: Belly as Roger
- 1998: Vig (TV Movie) as Pete
- 1999: NetForce (TV Movie) as Johnny Stompato
- 1999: Entropy as Sal
- 1999: Penance (Short) as Suicide Man
- 2000: Isn't She Great as Aristotle Onassis
- 2000: Gun Shy as Carmine Minetti
- 2000: If You Only Knew as Gino
- 2000: Ropewalk
- 2000: NYPD Blue (TV Series) as Dino "the Rat" Ferrera
- 2000: The Crew as Marty
- 2000: Under Hellgate Bridge as Big Sal
- 2001: Smokin' Stogies as Johnny Big
- 2001: Snipes as Johnnie Marandino
- 2001: Grand Theft Auto III (Video Game) as Salvatore Leone (voice)
- 2002: Hamlet in the Hamptons as Michael
- 2003: Rubout (TV Movie) as Frank Santello
- 2003: A Tale of Two Pizzas as Frank Bianco
- 2003: This Thing of Ours as Danny Santini
- 2003: Remembering Mario as Joey Big Ears
- 2004: Shark Tale as Great White #3 (voice)
- 2004: Coalition as Alvaro
- 2004: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (Video Game) as Salvatore Leone (voice)
- 2004–2007: The Sopranos (TV Series) as Phil Leotardo
- 2005: Remedy as Uncle Charles
- 2005: Van Vorst Park as Carlo
- 2005: Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (Video Game) as Salvatore Leone (voice)
- 2006: Last Request as Father Brice
- 2007: Lucky Man (Video short)
- 2007: City Teacher
- 2008: Stargate Atlantis (TV Series) as Poker Player #1
- 2009: Chicago Overcoat: The Glory Days Are Back as Lou Marazano
- 2010: Stiffs as Jimmy the Limo King
- 2010: The Tested as Lieutenant Marino
- 2011: Spy as Gaetano
- 2014: Killogy Animated Series as Sally Sno Cones (voice)
- 2014–2016: Mr. Pickles (TV Series) as Jon Gabagooli (voice)
- 2015: The Making of the Mob: New York as Himself
- 2016: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (TV Series) as Bishop Cattalano
- 2017: Neo Yokio as Uncle Albert (voice)
- 2018: The Killer's Kiss as Michael Gazzo
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- Staff reports (September 15, 2017) "Sopranos actor made a name playing gangsters" The Washington Post, page B5 Retrieved September 17, 2017
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- Talent, Wasted. "ALAN ROBERT'S KILLOGY® - THE CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED COMIC SERIES FROM THE CREATOR OF "CRAWL TO ME" AND "WIRE HANGERS"". Killogycomic.com. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
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- 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.
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