RIP Frank Vincent
"Go home and get yo' fucking shine box!" That line has become engraved in our popular culture. I had a roommate in college that loved that line. He'd use it playing video games online. He'd use it if I told a lousy joke or if I pranked him good or just for the hell of it sometimes. That line, of course, came from "Goodfellas" spoken by Frank Vincent who played Billy Batts. Billy Batts harps on Joe Pesci quite a bit in that movie, and sadly it gets him killed by the hands of Pesci and Robert De Niro and Ray Liotta. Dont worry though, old Billy Batts got his revenge on Pesci in another Martin Scorsese gangster movie in 1995 called "Casino." A movie in which Frank Vincent's character clubs Joe Pesci's character to death with a metal baseball bat. Yikes, bad way to go.
If there was a single tough guy role or gangster role to fill, Frank Vincent was your man. You can find him in "The Sopranos," "Goodfellas," "Casino," "Raging Bull," "Wise Guys," "New York Undercover" and "Cop Land." He even provided voices for gangster characters in a couple Grand Theft Auto video games.
Frank Vincent may have been a red blooded Italian, but that doesn't mean he only limited himself to tough guy roles. Vincent appeared in such films as "Do The Right Thing" and "Jungle Fever" by Spike Lee. He was on a few episodes of "Cosby." He was also very good in "The Last Exit To Brooklyn."
But alas, You will know Frank Vincent the best for his work as being a gangster. And a smooth gangster he was. I hope he rests in peace, and I will miss his brilliant work in these movies, and all the other work he's done.