Former The Sopranos actor Frank Vincent, 78, died earlier today in a New Jersey hospital after complications during open heart surgery.
TMZ reported that he died after undergoing open heart surgery on Wednesday following a heart attack last week.
In addition to playing Tony Soprano's nemesis Phil Leotardo, the film and TV tough guy was also known for his many mafia roles in several Martin Scorsese films including Casino, Raging Bull and Billy Batts in Goodfellas.
His first film appearance was in 1976 in the low-budget crime film The Death Collector, opposite Joe Pesci.
Director John Gallagher, who worked with the actor in Street Hunter, The Deli, and Animal Room, also posted about the sad news on his Facebook, writing a touching and lengthy tribute to the actor, who worked for over 40 years in the business of show.
"I could write a book about my times with Frank, all beautiful joyous memories, but today in our grief thoughts race to his beloved wife Kathy and his grown children. Requiescat in pace FV, see ya on the other side, love always JG."
Vincent's Sopranos co-star Vincent Pastore took to his Facebook to write a message to honor and remember the screen gem: "He was my mentor, my inspiration. We just lost Frank [.] May he forever rest in peace [.] A great legacy [.] 'Now get your shine box'..."
Our hearts go out to Vincent's friends and family...
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