In Loving Memory: Ray Liotta


Ray Liotta

Ray Liotta, the charismatic wiseguy star of classic films like Goodfellas, has died. He was 67 years old. 

The actor reportedly died in his sleep in the Dominican Republic, where he had been shooting the film, Dangerous Waters. Liotta’s rep, Jennifer Craig, confirmed the actor’s death to The Hollywood Reporter.

At his death, Liotta was busy acting in a handful of films and had recently wrapped production on several other projects, including the forthcoming Apple TV+ series Black Bird. 

Liotta, a seasoned actor whose career spanned four decades, turned in several memorable supporting performances alone in the last few years. He played a New Jersey mafioso in The Many Saints of Newark, a prequel film to the beloved HBO series The Sopranos. In Noah Baumbach’s Oscar-nominated drama Marriage Story, he played a vicious lawyer going toe to toe with Laura Dern. 

However, Liotta’s most memorable role will always be that of Henry Hill, the charismatic wiseguy he portrayed in Martin Scorsese’s 1990 mob epic Goodfellas. In the film, based on a true story, Liotta stars as a charismatic Italian-American man rising through the ranks of his local mob, then descending into chaos as the FBI closes in on him. Though Goodfellas would be Liotta’s only project with the famed director, the critically acclaimed blockbuster put a young Liotta in league with the auteur’s favorite actors. Goodfellas also starred Scorsese regulars Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, whom Liotta easily held his own against. 

Lorraine Braco, who played Hill’s fiery wife Karen, paid tribute to the late actor. “I am utterly shattered to hear this terrible news about my Ray,” she wrote, sharing a photo of herself with Liotta. “I can be anywhere in the world & people will come up & tell me their favorite movie is Goodfellas. Then they always ask what the best part of making that movie was. My response has always been the same: Ray Liotta.”