Ray Liotta’s cause of death revealed

How did Ray Liotta die?

Ray Liotta as Henry Hill in Gooffellas

It’s been almost one year since Ray Liotta’s death. And just a couple of weeks before the actor’s first death anniversary on May 26th, a new report has revealed the cause of his death.

What was Ray Liotta’s cause of death?

According to TMZ, which has obtained new documents surrounding the actor’s death, Ray Liotta’s cause of death was categorized as “natural and nonviolent”. The docs pointed out that he passed away due to “respiratory insufficiency, pulmonary edema — a.k.a. fluid in his lungs — and acute heart failure”.

The documents also noted that Liotta suffered from atherosclerosis, a condition in which plaque, which is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances, builds up inside the arteries. When plaque accumulates inside the artery walls, it can cause them to become thick and stiff, which restricts blood flow to vital organs and tissues.

Over time, the plaque can cause the artery walls to weaken and develop small tears or cracks, leading to the formation of blood clots. These blood clots can completely block the blood flow through the artery, causing a heart attack or stroke. Atherosclerosis often leads to diabetes and other health issues.

Ray Liotta’s posthumous recognition

The news about Ray Liotta’s cause of death comes nearly three months after he was honored with the posthumous milestone of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in February 2023. Liotta’s daughter, Karsen, whom he shared with his ex-wife Michelle Grace, gave a heartfelt speech during the dedication ceremony.

“I’m so touched to be accepting this honor on behalf of my dad. I couldn’t be more proud of him,” Karen said during the ceremony, according to People. “He was a one-of-a-kind actor and the best friend, brother, and father anyone could have asked for. I lucked out with you. If you have a Ray in your life, you’re lucky. I love you so much. Thank you for your work and the imprint you left on me and all of those who love you. Everyone deserves a Ray in their life.”

What happened to Ray Liotta?

Ray Liotta died in his sleep on May 26th, 2022 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where he was shooting the movie Dangerous Waters. He was 67.

Ray Liotta’s movies and TV shows

Born in Newark, New Jersey, Ray 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.

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.

Ray Liotta in Something Wild
Ray Liotta in Something Wild

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).

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.

Ray Liotta in Texas Rising
Ray Liotta in Texas Rising

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’s posthumous projects

In addition to the upcoming film Dangerous Waters, Ray Liotta’s other posthumous projects include the comedy thriller Cocaine Bear, which was released in February 2023. He will be seen next in the comedy movie Fool’s Paradise, which is set to open in theaters on May 12th, 2023. He’s also part of the cast of the upcoming drama film April 29, 1992.

Ray Liotta and Charlie Day in Fool's Paradise. Ray Liotta's cause of death was revealed just days before the May 12th, 2023 theatrical release of Fool's Paradise.
Ray Liotta and Charlie Day in Fool’s Paradise
Sources: TMZ, People
If you buy something from a GEEKSPIN link, we may earn a commission