"Sopranos" actor Frank Vincent dies

Los Angeles : American actor Frank Vincent, who was known for his memorable gangster roles in "Goodfellas" and "The Sopranos," died on Wednesday.

Television network HBO saluted Vincent on its Twitter account, saying, "Our family will never forget the Leotardo Legacy. RIP to an HBO legend."

The reference was to Phil Leotardo, Tony Soprano's ruthless antagonist at the end of the wildly popular series starring James Gandolfini, who died in 2013.

Celebrity news site TMZ said Vincent died of complications following open heart surgery in New Jersey. He had suffered a heart attack a week earlier.

According to his biography on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) he was 78 years old.  

The actor had standout gangster roles in Martin Scorsese's 1980 film "Raging Bull," "Casino" (1995) as well as "Goodfellas" (1990).

He also voiced the character of a Mafia boss in several "Grand Theft Auto" computer and video games.

His film credits also include "The Pope of Greenwich Village" (1984) and Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing" (1989).  

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