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Martin Scorsese, who directed the late Frank Vincent in three films — Raging Bull (1980), Goodfellas (1990), and Casino (1995) — paid tribute to his friend Thursday in a written statement given to The Hollywood Reporter.
“Frank Vincent was someone I could count on. He was a natural who was at ease in front of the camera — on a set or on a stage,” he wrote. “He made it look easy in all respects. He was genuine.”
Vincent died Wednesday of complications from heart surgery. He was 80.
The statement continued: “We worked together on three pictures, each time with his old partner Joe Pesci, and I always marveled at his genius for improvisation. He was a hard-working actor, he understood the world we were portraying so well that he really didn’t appear to be acting at all.
“I will always marvel at his artistry, and consider myself lucky to have had the chance to work with him and to know him,” he said.
Scorsese is the latest Hollywood figure to pay tribute to the star. Actor Frank Sirico, who worked with Vincent on the hit HBO show The Sopranos, told THR, “We had a lot of fun together. Great guy. Well respected. Great actor.
“All I can say is we had a lot of fun,” he added. “On the show, his character was working with another mob and I didn’t get a piece of the action with Frank before Leotardo [Vincent’s character] died. But, everybody loved Frankie.”
Vincent’s big-screen credits also included The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984), Brian De Palma’s Wise Guys (1986), Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing (1989) and Jungle Fever (1991), Sidney Lumet’s Night Falls on Manhattan (1996), James Mangold’s Cop Land (1997), Shark Tale (2004) and Chicago Overcoat (2009).
In addition to his work on film and television, Vincent also authored the 2006 book A Guy’s Guide to Being a Man’s Man.
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Sterling K. Brown