Goodfellas star Ray Liotta has died in his sleep at a hotel in the Dominican Republic at the age of 67 where he had been filming a new movie. An emergency service team had rushed to the building but he could not be saved and his body was transferred to the forensic institute of Santo Domingo.
Life And Career
Born in Newark, New Jersey in 1954, Liotta was abandoned at an orphanage as a baby but was adopted at six months by township clerk Mary and auto-parts store owner Alfred Liotta.
He studied acting at the University of Miami and performed in musicals like Cabaret, Sound of Music and Oklahoma before graduating in 1978. He then moved to Los Angeles to break into the film industry, and he got his first role in the 1983 drama The Lonely Lady.
His first acting break came with the role of Ray Sinclair in Something Wild in 1986, for which he received a Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actor.
He also played Shoeless Joe Jackson in the classic Field Of Dreams and Tommy Vercetti in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. In a 1998 TV film, The Rat Pack, he portrayed the legendary singer and actor Frank Sinatra.
Liotta won an Emmy for guest actor in 2005 for an appearance on ER, and he also had roles on Frasier, Shades of Blue, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. His other feature roles included Cop Land, Hannibal, Blow and The Place Beyond the Pines to name but a few.
He Was A Good Fella
We all know Liotta best for his portrayal of real-life mobster Henry Hill from Martin Scorsese’s absolute classic Goodfellas. A film that never ages, you never tire of watching it and it’s fatal if you channel surf near bedtime because you end up watching all of it!
Martin Scorsese led the tributes saying:
“I’m absolutely shocked and devastated by the sudden, unexpected death. He was so uniquely gifted, so adventurous, so courageous as an actor.
Playing Henry Hill in Goodfellas was a tall order, because the character had so many different facets, so many complicated layers, and Ray was in almost every scene of a long, tough shoot.
He absolutely amazed me, and I’ll always be proud of the work we did together on that picture.”
RIP Ray Liotta. You sir, were a somebody in a neighborhood full of nobodies.