Frank Vincent dead: Sopranos and Goodfellas actor passes aged 80

Jennifer ruby
Passed away: Frank Vincent (R) in The Sopranos with Vincent Curatola

US actor Frank Vincent, best known for his role in the Sopranos, has dies at the age of 80.

The veteran star had reportedly suffered complications during open heart surgery but died peacefully on Wednesday, his family said in a statement.

The Massachusetts-born actor played mob moss Phil Leotardo in the critically-acclaimed HBO series, the nemesis to lead character Tony Soprano.

Vincent also played gangsters in a number of Martin Scorsese films, including Goodfellas and Raging Bull.

Iconic star: Frank Vincent and his wife Kathleen Vincent in 2007 (Getty Images)

He also portrayed real-life gangster Frank Cullotta in the director’s 1995 film Casino, opposite Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci.

Vincent went on to play roles in Spike Lee films Do the Right Thing and Jungle Fever as well as Night Falls in Manhattan and Shark Tale.

Vincent’s friend Peter Dobson told the New York Daily News: “He had been ill for a few months now.

“From what I understand, he went in a few days ago in some kind of bad shape due to a complication from a prior heart surgery.”

Fellow Sopranos star Vincent Pastore said: “It’s hard to believe he’s done. He was like a godfather to me. He always watched over me.”

Vincent began his acting career in 1976 when he co-starred in gangster film The Death Collector with Pesci, during which they were both spotted by De Niro and offered parts in Raging Bull.