Portland News

Goodfellas Actor Ray Liotta Passes Away at 67

Ray Liotta reportedly passed away in his sleep while filming a new movie
Ray Liotta reportedly passed away in his sleep while filming a new movie

Ray Liotta, a celebrated actor who attracted the spotlight with his incredible performance in Martin Scorsese’s 1990 biographical crime film Goodfellas, recently passed away at the age of 67.

The actor had been filming the movie Dangerous Waters in the Dominican Republic when he was discovered to have passed away in his sleep. Publicist Jennifer Allen revealed that Liotta died between Wednesday night or early Thursday in his hotel room. His fiancee Jacy Nitollo had been with him, but no foul play was suspected. Liotta had worked on the film about a week ago.

Throughout his career, Liotta was an incredible talent for the crime genre, playing shady cops in Unlawful Entry, Cop Land, and Narc. Recently, the actor starred as a corrupt cup in the cop drama Shades of Blue. He also lent his voice to narrate National Geographic Channel’s Inside the Mafia in 2005 and brought life to mobster Tommy Vercetti in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. But the blue-eyed actor also made his name as Ray Sinclair in the 1986 film Something Wild followed by Shoeless Shoe Jackson in Field of Dreams. In recent times, Liotta notably appeared on Marriage Story, No Sudden Moves, and The Many Saints of Newark

Despite his many roles, Ray Liotta will always be remembered for playing Henry Hill in Goodfellas, which was based on the book Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family. The book revolved around Liotta’s character, a street-level hustler in New York City who found his way out of the mob alive by snitching on his cohorts in the Lucchese crime family.

Liotta and co-star Joe Pesci improvised the classic “How am I funny?” scene after Pesci told a story to the actor and director Scorsese about a situation he fell into when someone misinterpreted what he was saying and got irate. Lorraine Bracco, Liotta’s wife in the film, paid tribute to him on Twitter.

“I am utterly shattered to hear this terrible news about my Ray,” she wrote. “I can be anywhere in the world and people will come up and tell me their favorite movie is Goodfellas. Then they always ask what was the best part of making that movie. My response has always been the same… Ray Liotta.”

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