Sopranos star Frank Vincent “died at the age of 78′

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The veteran American actor Frank Vincent, known for his roles in the television series The sopranos and several Martin Scorsese films, has died at the age of 78, US media report.

There were complications during open-heart surgery in a New Jersey hospital, the site TMZ reported.

In HBO’s The sopranos, he portrayed mobster Phil Leotardo, the nemesis to the main character, Tony Soprano.

He has also played the hard of Scorsese in Raging Bull, Goodfellas and Casino.

Frank Vincent had a heart attack last week, TMZ has reported.

He was born in North Adams, Massachusetts and was introduced to show business at a young age by his father, an amateur actor.

He made his debut in 1975 at the Death of the Collector, by director Ralph DeVito, his web site said. Scorsese has seen his work, and threw for Raging Bull in 1980.

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In the course of his 41-year career, Vincent has often played the role of the mafia characters, including Goodfellas, in 1990, when he portrayed Billy Batts, who was found beaten to death by Joe Pesci’s Tommy DeVito.

Vincent was also a musician, comedian, producer and author, he has written A Guys Guide to Being A man’s man.

Actor Vincent Pastore, who co-starred with Vincent in The Sopranos, said in an e-mail cited by the site of the Explosion: “We have lost a great actor and a great man… he Can always stay in our memory.”