Ray Liotta, Goodfellas and Something Wild star, dies at 67

The late actor was acclaimed for playing psychopathic characters who hide behind a cultivated charm

Ray Liotta as Henry Hill in Goodfellas

Ray Liotta, who rose to prominence for his role in the 1990 crime film Goodfellas, has passed away. He was 67.

According to Deadline, Liotta died in his sleep on Thursday, May 26th, in the Dominican Republic, where he was shooting the movie Dangerous Waters.

Born in Newark, New Jersey, Liotta graduated from the University of Miami, where he studied acting and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1978. During his time there, Liotta performed in musicals such as Cabaret, Dames at Sea, Oklahoma, and Sound of Music.

Ray Liotta movies

Liotta made his film debut in the 1983 drama The Lonely Lady. Three years later, he landed his first major acting role, playing Ray Sinclair in the action rom-com Something Wild, for which he received his first Golden Globe nomination.

He then portrayed the ghost of baseball player Shoeless Joe Jackson in the 1989 fantasy drama movie Field of Dreams, which also starred Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones. The following year, Liotta portrayed real-life mobster Henry Hill in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas, opposite Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci in what was to be the defining role of his career.

After becoming a household name, Liotta showed more versatility as an actor, appearing in serious dramas like Corrina, Corrina (1994) and family comedies like Operation Dumbo Drop (1995) and Muppets from Space (1999). But after appearing in the first The Silence of the Lambs sequel, Hannibal (2001), Liotta mainly played gangsters, cops, and other intimidating figures in his succeeding big-screen projects, including John Q (2002), Identity (2003), and Smokin’ Aces (2006).

Liotta’s most recent films are No Sudden Move (2021), The Many Saints of Newark (2021), and Broken Soldier (2022). In addition to Dangerous Waters, he’s also part of the upcoming movies El Tonto, Cocaine Bear, The Substance, and April 29, 1992.

Ray Liotta TV shows

While better known for his movie roles, Liotta also starred in several TV shows. Prior to making his movie debut, Liotta played nice guy Joey Perrini on the popular NBC soap Another World from 1978 to 1981. He then co-starred in Casablanca, a short-lived 1983 NBC prequel series to the classic movie, and played a cop in the mid-’80s ABC drama Our Family Honor.

Liotta also guest-starred as Charlie Metcalf on ER, a role that won him a Primetime Emmy in 2005. Aside from being an Emmy winner, Liotta was also a two-time SAG Award nominee, earning nods for his roles in the 2015 miniseries Texas Rising and the 1998 telefilm The Rat Pack, in which he starred as Frank Sinatra.

Liotta’s most recent TV credits include the Apple TV+ series Black Bird (2022), Amazon Prime Video’s Hanna (2021), and the NBC police drama Shades of Blue (2016-2018).

Ray Liotta family

Liotta was adopted at the age of six months by township clerk Mary Edgar and auto-parts store owner Alfred Liotta. The late actor had a sister, Linda, who was also adopted. He had one biological sister, one biological half-brother, and five biological half-sisters.

Liotta is survived by his daughter, Karsen, whom he shared with his ex-wife Michelle Grace. At the time of his death, he was engaged to be married to his girlfriend Jacy Nittolo.

Sources: Deadline, ComicBook.com
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