Frank Vincent -- veteran actor known for his roles on "The Sopranos" and several Martin Scorsese films -- died in a New Jersey hospital Wednesday ... TMZ has learned.
We're told Vincent suffered a heart attack last week, and underwent open-heart surgery Wednesday. He died during the surgery.
Frank was one of the most recognizable character actors -- in the biz for 41 years -- known for his tough guy roles ... especially in mafia movies. Some of his most memorable include Billy Batts in "Goodfellas" and Phil Leotardo -- Tony's nemesis -- in "The Sopranos."
Vincent also appeared in "Raging Bull," "Casino" and "Do the Right Thing."
He was 78.