Frank Vincent, who memorably played mob boss Phil Leotardo on "The Sopranos," died from heart surgery complications Wednesday. He was 78.

TMZ reports that Vincent suffered a heart attack last week and underwent open-heart surgery today in a New Jersey hospital.

Vincent was a veteran actor who began his career in gangster movies. He was spotted, along with Joe Pesci, by Robert De Niro, who recommended them to director Martin Scorsese. Both actors were cast in 1980's "Raging Bull," and they also appeared in Scorsese's "Goodfellas" and "Casino." Vincent also acted in two Spike Lee films, "Do the Right Thing" and "Jungle Fever."

Vincent's biggest role was as ruthless mafia boss Phil Leotardo in "The Sopranos," the main antagonist of Tony Soprano (the late James Gandolfini) in the final season.

He extended his gangster persona to the "Grand Theft Auto" videogame series. His most recent role was as a bishop on "Law & Order: SVU" last year.

categories Movies, Tv News