Home Celebrities Ray Liotta, star of Goodfellas and Field of Dreams, dies at 67...

Ray Liotta, star of Goodfellas and Field of Dreams, dies at 67 | Ray Liotta

Ray Liotta, star of Goodfellas and Field of Dreams, has died aged 67.

According to his rep who confirmed the news, the actor died in his sleep in the Dominican Republic while filming his latest film Dangerous Waters alongside Saffron Burrows.

Liotta was born in New Jersey and was abandoned in an orphanage before being adopted at six months. “At first, I didn’t understand how a parent could give up on a child,” he told People magazine. “So I had this kind of energy of being like, this is badass. And so when I finally met my birth mother in my forties, I wasn’t that mad about it. It’s just another journey.”

After small TV roles and a small role in 1983’s The Lonely Lady, Liotta received a Golden Globe nomination for 1986’s Something Wild. He went on to star in Field of Dreams in 1989 before taking on the role of Henry Hill. in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas.

“If you have a movie that people remember, that’s great. If you have two, that’s fantastic,” he told the Guardian in 2021 of his association with gangster drama.

The 1990s also saw him star in the thriller Unlawful Entry opposite Kurt Russell, Cop Land with Robert De Niro and the family drama Corrina, Corrina with Whoopi Goldberg. He also received a Screen Actors Guild nomination for playing Frank Sinatra in the 1998 TV movie The Rat Pack.

The following decade included roles in Ridley Scott’s Hannibal, Joe Carnahan’s Narc and an Emmy for an appearance on ER.

Ray Liotta and Lorraine Bracco in Goodfellas
Ray Liotta and Lorraine Bracco in Goodfellas Photography: Warner Bros/Sportsphoto/Allstar

Liotta was offered a role in The Sopranos, but turned it down. “I didn’t want to do another mob thing and I was shooting Hannibal,” he told the Guardian. “It just didn’t feel right at the time.” He later starred in the Sopranos prequel film The Many Saints of Newark in 2021.

Despite being known for his tough-guy roles, Liotta admitted he’s far from what people see him as. “I’ve never been in a fight, except during sports, and that’s just pushing and goofy kid stuff,” he said in an interview.

His most recent work has included Marriage Story and the remake of Hanna for Amazon’s small screen. His final roles, yet to be seen, include the Apple thriller series Black Bird with Taron Egerton and Cocaine Bear, directed by Elizabeth Banks.

Tributes began to appear online from people in the industry. Her Goodfellas co-star Lorraine Bracco tweeted that she was “totally devastated” upon hearing the news. “I can be anywhere in the world and people will come and tell me their favorite movie is Goodfellas,” she wrote. “So they always ask what was the best part of making that movie. My answer has always been the same… Ray Liotta.

Jamie Lee Curtis, who starred with Liotta in the 1988 drama Dominic and Eugene, tweeted that “his work as an actor showed his complexity as a human being” and that he was “a gentle man”.

James Mangold, who directed Liotta in the 2003 thriller Identity, also tweeted: “Shocked and saddened to learn of Ray Liotta’s death. In addition to his characters’ tough exterior and heavily wounded emotions, he was a sweet, playful, passionate collaborator and a brilliant actor.”

Viola Davis also wrote “RIP Ray Liotta!! I loved your work” while Rosanna Arquette tweeted: “I am very sad to hear that Ray Liotta has passed away. He was a friend in the past and is very sad. We had a lot of laughs Rest in peace my friend.”

Liotta is survived by his fiancee Jacy Nittolo, who was with him during filming, and his daughter Karsen.

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