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RIP Frank Vincent, classic screen mobster

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Veteran actor Frank Vincent was best known for playing Italians and mobsters. (Courtesy photo)
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Though audiences may not remember the name Frank Vincent, they certainly remember his dirty work.

The award-winning East Coast actor famed for his role as crime boss Phil Leotardo (James Gandolfini/Tony Soprano’s rival) on “The Sopranos,” has died.

His family issued a statement confirming the death Wednesday in an email to USA TODAY from publicist Morgan Pesente, which said the actor and musician “passed away peacefully at the age of 80 surrounded by his family.”

Born in Massachusetts and raised in New Jersey, the actor notoriously appeared in three Martin Scorsese classics: “Raging Bull” (1980), “Goodfellas” (1990) and “Casino” (1995).

His classic “Goodfellas” scene put the word “shinebox” in film lexicon; his character famously tells angry Tommy (Joe Pesci) to go get his shinebox; moments later, Pesci and Robert DeNiro’s character pummel him to death.

He also appeared in Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” and “Jungle Fever,” Brian De Palma’s mafia comedy “Wise Guys,” the 1990s crime thriller “Cop Land” and was the voice of a menacing Great White in the animated “Shark Tale.”

His career spanned four decades; before he acted, he was a drummer who played with Paul Anka, Trini Lopez and Del Shannon.

TMZ said he died from complications from heart surgery Wednesday in New Jersey.

Hollywood Life reports the actor is survived by his wife, Kathleen Vincent, and son, stuntman Anthony Vincent.

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