Breaking: Hollywood Actor Dies During Open Heart Surgery

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A veteran actor best known for his portrayal of gangsters on the big and small screens died this week at the age of 78.

Frank Vincent, who appeared in 31 episodes of the critically acclaimed HBO series The Sopranos, reportedly died while undergoing heart surgery.

The Italian-American actor played Phil Leotardo, a rival of Tony Soprano, on the popular series. His credits also include major Mafia films including Casino and Goodfellas.

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Fans and fellow actors alike expressed both their sadness upon learning of Vincent’s death and their respect for his contribution to the entertainment industry.

Sad to hear of the passing of Frank Vincent. He was always a great character actor in iconic movies & TV shows. https://t.co/lo99FZuniX

– Brian O’Halloran (@BrianCOHalloran) September 13, 2017

RIP, #FrankVincent – a mob movie legend.

– Capitalism ≠ Slavery (@RecovringSinner) September 13, 2017

While Vincent did portray characters not affiliated with organized crime, he recognized that his distinct accent and heritage often combined to pigeonhole him into such a role.

“Because you’re from (New) Jersey, and everybody has an accent, you are perceived a certain way,” he said in a 2009 interview with Inside Jersey.

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According to Vincent, producers would often cast a narrow net when looking for actors for projects centered around organized crime.

If Hollywood “needs a gangster,” he said, he and Joe Pesci were often on the short list of actors to be considered.

He said his work on the HBO series, which aired its final episode in 2007, made the stereotype harder to shed.

“I think The Sopranos probably solidifies the misconception that people have about New Jersey to begin with,” he said.

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In addition to acting, Vincent was an accomplished drummer and the author of the 2006 book A Guy’s Guide to Being a Man’s Man.

TMZ reported that complications during open-heart surgery came days after he suffered a heart attack.