"Frank Vincent was someone I could count on".
Born into a family of Italian-Americans in North Adams, Mass., Frank Vincent Gattuso Jr.was raised in the Greenville section of Jersey City, New Jersey.
Vincent started as a musician, playing drums for such acts as Paul Anka and Del Shannon.
Besides Leotardo, the ruthless NY mob boss who frequently clashed with Tony Soprano on the popular drama and who was memorably "whacked" at a service station, Vincent portrayed gangsters for director Martin Scorsese. Mugs and T-shirts emblazoned with the line were soon being sold.
Vincent made his film debut alongside Pesci in 1976's Death Collector, and they parlayed that low-budget movie into key roles in Martin Scorsese's 1980 masterpiece Raging Bull - in which Pesci's Joey LaMotta administered a savage beating to Vincent's Salvy Batts inside and outside a club.
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Vincent had small roles in two Spike Lee films, Do the Right Thing and Jungle Fever, and also was in The Pope of Greenwich Village, Last Exit to Brooklyn, Night Falls on Manhattan and Shark Tale, among his more than 50 films. Dominic Chianese and Tony Sirico auditioned with him. "David now in retrospect says he didn't want to hire me at that time because "Goodfellas" was too popular and the character Billy Batts was too known to put him into that mix".
He joined the cast of The Sopranos in 2004 and appeared in 31 episodes.
In 2006, Vincent published A Guy's Guide to Being a Man's Man.
In the book, he wrote of being approached at a mall by three women who gushed over his Sopranos character. "For the record, there's a good bit of myself in Phil Leotardo".