Vincent, who in some ways has modeled his career after classic tough-guy actors such as James Cagney, has played tough-guy roles in more than 30 films. This is not to mention roles played in various TV shows. A crafted actor who has also left his mark as a musician playing the legendary New York Honky-Tonk scene in the late 1950s and early 1960s, he takes his place in the cast of HBO's Sopranos this season.
And local resident Maria Lynn Pomponio, who has won numerous awards for her poetry in the Bayonne art scene and made her living at marketing in Manhattan, did not decide to help promote Vincent's career on a website just because he was movie and television tough guy - but because Vincent is her father.
Vincent, a former resident of Bayonne and Jersey City who also appeared in Casino and Wise Guys, will appear in 13 episodes of the Sopranos.
Vincent said he is very pleased by the role, although "I've not seen one frame of what I've done. The writing is superb and the directing is good."
Although honored last year by the Back East Film Festival with an lifetime achievement award at a ceremony held at the Liberty State Park, Vincent's lack of immediate recognition in the public eye is one reason why she and other members of her family have teamed up to promote his career.
"My father is not one of those nine-to-five kind of guys," Pomponio said. "He was never going to settle for anything less than he wanted, and he has his art on his mind all the time."
Calling Vincent "a dedicated actor" who has worked hard over the years to achieve his success, Pomponio - a graduate of Bayonne High School - said she decided to use her marketing skills to help her father become better-known.
"I love my dad, and I wanted to do something for him," she said. "Since I worked on Wall Street and have a lot of business experience - and he doesn't - I thought I could do this for him. I thought he needed a website."
Working with students from Point Pleasant High School, near where she lives now, Pomponio helped develop her father's site, relating details about his life, upbringing and aspects of his career that people might not otherwise have known.
"I'm really happy that my family is coming together for this," he said. "We have had our ups and down over the years, but we're a family, and I'm very proud of them."
Musician, then an actor
Although born in Massachusetts in 1943, Vincent's family moved to the Greenville section of Jersey City.
As grand marshal of the Columbus Day Parade last year in Belleville, Vincent was cast back into his own roots as a member of a drum and bugle corps as he watched marching bands pass the grandstand where he stood. "It was something he could relate to," Pomponio said.
Although an actor now, Vincent made his initial foray into the world of arts through music, taking up piano, trumpet and drums while attending St. Peter's Prep in Jersey City.
"My first interest was music," he said. "I pursued it as a young man as I progressed, developed a personality by playing music." He eventually settled into drumming and played the clubs at night while recording as a studio musician by day. He was an incredibly successful studio musician, backing such talents as Paul Anka, Del Shannon, Trini Lopez, and others.
During these days, Vincent got to meet some of the icons of cool, such as Frank Sinatra - and despite his own professional credentials, Vincent was awed.
Played with Pesci During that period, he met up with and formed a band with Pesci called "The Aristocrats," and played the Times Square area for years, although eventually he and Pesci developed a comic duo that toured the United States from 1969 to 1975, by which time Vincent began to look more and more to acting.
"The music situation was changing. Disco was coming in, it was time to find something else," he said.
"His comedy performances," Vincent's daughter said, "became more important than drumming."
The comic routines helped him develop the stage personality as well as improved his timing and his discipline.
His success in music helped him raise and support his family, and he moved to Bayonne while still performing as a studio musician. The family moved into a duplex at 17th Street and the bay.
In the mid-1970s, Pesci and Vincent got large supporting roles in a low-budget gangster film called "The Death Collector."
"The writer of the film saw one of our routines and asked us to audition for his film," Vincent said, calling this the first step in his career as an actor.
Their success in that film led to a role in Raging Bull, one of the Martin Scorsese's masterpieces.
"We were in a very fortunate position," Vincent said.
Since then, he has had a number of roles, although when asked which was most difficult, he said Spike Lee's "Jungle Fever" challenged him. He has also performed in several television projects that include Law and Order, Young Indiana Jones and Tom Clancy's Netforce. His voice has been used in a Play Station game and an animated DreamWorks film.
Vincent said he is working on several of his own projects he hopes to have out in the short future.
"I have a couple of in my own that are development," he said.
These include films called Sinking Springs, How to Catch a Gangster, and License to Steal.
Updates on Vincent can be found at his website: http://www.frankvincent.com.
A staunch promoter of New Jersey movie making
Last year, Vincent came out in support of developing movie studios in New Jersey, and made an appearance before the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission in support of a proposal that would establish studios in Secaucus.
Although he has not been to the studios in Bayonne, he said he has heard good things about them, and said that New Jersey has a big advantage of New York in that there is less traffic and cheaper production costs.
"It's cheaper to shoot in New Jersey," he said. "People from New York can get here easier than it is to get people around in New York."