Frank Vincent

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Frank Vincent (born Frank Vincent Gattuso on 4 August, 1939) is an Italian-American actor.

He was born in North Adams, Massachusetts, but was raised in Jersey City, New Jersey. His father was also called Frank. His mother was Mary (nee Ricci). Frank has two brothers: Nick and Jimmy. Frank's father was one of six children, all born in the United States to Sicilian immigrants Nicolo Gattuso and Francesca di Peri.

As an accomplished player of the drums, trumpet and piano, Frank Vincent originally intended on a career in music but in 1975, aged thirty-six, he starred in a low-budget gangster movie called The Death Collector where he was spotted by Martin Scorsese. Scorsese was impressed and hired Vincent to star in Raging Bull. Joe Pesci co-starred with Vincent in The Death Collector and the two were re-united in several other movies; another familiar co-star and good friend of Vincent is Robert De Niro.

Vincent is often typecast as a gangster, the most recent example being The Sopranos where he plays Phil Leotardo. In the 1990 movie, Goodfellas, Vincent played the doomed Billy Batts, who suffers a grisly end. Vincent also played a prominent role as gangster Frankie Marino in Scorsese's 1995 film Casino, who killed Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci) and his brother Dominick (Philip Suriano) by buyring them alive in a cornfield in Indiana after brutally beating them with a baseball bat. In the television movie, Gotti, Vincent played Robert DeBinardo, an associate of Mafia boss John Gotti, whose life the film chronicled. Vincent had a leading role in the heist movie This Thing of Ours in 2003. In 1999 he won the Italian American Entertainer of the Year Award.

In 2001, Vincent lent his voice to Mafia don Salvatore Leone in the controversial computer and video game Grand Theft Auto III. He later reprised that role in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004) and Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (2005).

One of his more light-hearted roles came recently when he was in a British television commercial for Peugeot cars. In early 2005, Frank Vincent appeared on Irish television in a series of television commercials for Irish building society Permanent TSB. As of October 2006, his image can still be seen on the homepage of the Permanent TSB website. In 2006, he released his first book, A Guy's Guide to Being a Man's Man, to positive reviews.

Trivia

  • Frank Vincent is a frequent and popular guest on the hit radio show Opie and Anthony, which often uses soundbites from his movie appearances.
  • Vincent has the dubious cinematic distinction of getting severely beaten by Joe Pesci in two Martin Scorsese films. In Raging Bull he plays unfortunate mobster Salvy who gets beaten unconscious by Joey LaMotta (Pesci) after he catches Salvy flirting with his brother's wife. In Goodfellas, he gets beaten, stabbed, and shot to death by Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro after his character, Billy Batts, taunts Pesci's character, Tommy DeVito, in a bar. Vincent finally got his revenge five years later in Casino, after he beats Pesci's character, Nicky Santoro, and his brother with a baseball bat in an Illinois cornfield (in real life, the cornfield was in Indiana) and buries them both alive.
  • Frank and his wife Kathy have three children and two grandchildren.
  • In an interview for VH1's I Love the 70's, he claimed to know what really happened to Jimmy Hoffa.
  • Is a friend of rapper Nas and had a cameo appearance in his music video Street Dreams.
  • In an episode of The Sopranos during a car chase scene between Tony Soprano and Phil Leotardo (Vincent) The Clash's "Rock the Casbah" is played. The lyrics of the song which refer to the "Sheik" and "Sharif" are seemingly making a humouress note of Vincent's likeness to the former Shah of Iran.
  • Referred to George W. Bush as a "wimp" while promoting his book during a 2006 appearance on the The Colbert Report. While met with applause by the audience, Colbert responded with mock defiance and disbelief.

See also