American actor Frank Vincent, one of the stars of ‘The Sopranos’ and a frequent collaborator with director Martin Scorsese, has died at the age of 80.

TMZ reported on Wednesday (September 13th) that Vincent had suffered a heart attack last week, and passed away during open-heart surgery at a hospital in New Jersey.

The star was arguably most prominent in his role as crime boss Phil Leotardo on HBO’s ‘The Sopranos’, where his character rose to become the head of the Lupertazzi crime family through seven seasons. However, he also famously starred in several Scorsese-directed films, including GoodFellas, Raging Bull and Casino, and was one of the go-to guys in the movie industry if you wanted to get ‘mobster’ scenes correct.

Frank VincentFrank Vincent, a star of 'The Sopranos', has died aged 80

More recently, Vincent had appeared in an episode of ‘Law & Order: SVU’, and in 2016 was also the voice of Jon Gabagooli in the animated series ‘Mr Pickles’.

Vincent also co-authored a book in 2006 with Steven Prigge, titled ‘A Guy’s Guide to Being a Man’s Man’. James Gandolfini, who passed away in 2013 and was his co-star on ‘The Sopranos’, wrote the foreword for it.

His friend and fellow actor Vincent Pastore sent an email to friends after hearing news of his friend’s death, according to The Blast, which read: “I just received a phone call that Frank Vincent has passed away… I’ll let all know about the services… We lost a great character actor and great man… May he always stay in our memory.”

Maureen Van Zandt, who played Gabriella Dante on The Sopranos, expressed her condolences on Twitter. “We lost one of our family today,” she wrote. “Frank Vincent. Wonderful actor and lovely man. Rest In Peace, Frankie.”

Some reports of Vincent's death have listed his age as 78, but sources close to him have noted that he often gave his age as younger in order to avoid discrimination in the industry.

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