Ray Liotta Cause of Death: How Did Ray Liotta Died?
Ray Liotta, star of ‘Goodfellas’ and ‘Field of Dreams,’ died at the age of 67.
According to his publicist, he died in his sleep in the Dominican Republic, where he was filming “Dangerous Waters.”
Ray Liotta, best remembered for his role as mobster Henry Hill in Martin Scorsese’s “Goodfellas” and for adding seductively edgy energy to a gallery of crime dramas and thrillers, has died.
He was 67 years old at the time.
According to his spokeswoman, Jennifer Allen, Liotta died in his sleep in the Dominican Republic, where he was filming “Dangerous Waters.” No foul play is suspected, according to Allen, who added that Liotta’s fiancée, Jacy Nittolo, was on the island with him.
In a statement, Scorsese said: “Ray Liotta’s abrupt and unexpected death has completely stunned and upset me. As an actor, he was incredibly gifted, adventurous, and courageous.”
In a four-decade playing career, Liotta established himself as one of Hollywood’s most dependable tough-guy actors, adept at portraying cops and criminals in films such as “Something Wild,” “Cop Land,” and “Killing Them Softly.”
But he had a softer side, endearing himself to moviegoers in “Field of Dreams,” starring Kevin Costner, as the ghost of baseball legend Shoeless Joe Jackson.
However, “Goodfellas” was undeniably the pinnacle of his career, giving him a juicy main part in a decade-spanning mafia epic alongside Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. He played Henry Hill, a real-life mob associate who becomes enamored with the thrills and glitz of the criminal underground.
“Ray’s death came as a great shock to me. He was far too young to have abandoned us “In a statement, De Niro added. “May he rest in peace,” says the narrator.
“God is a Goodfella, and so is Ray,” Pesci wrote in an email.
Liotta remained a recognized screen artist and a familiar face after “Goodfellas,” redefining himself as a character actor who could lend gravitas and swagger to any scene in the final years of his career.
In recent years, he has made a tiny comeback, starring as a divorce lawyer in Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story,” a crime boss in Steven Soderbergh’s “No Sudden Move,” and a New Jersey bigwig in HBO’s “The Sopranos” prequel “The Many Saints of Newark.”
“When I first began acting, I believed that I needed to have done everything to be able to perform it. But then I discovered that acting is all about putting your mind to work “For a 1992 profile in The New York Times, Liotta said.
Raymond Allen Liotta was born in New Jersey on December 18, 1954. When he was a baby, Alfred and Mary Liotta adopted him. He made his acting debut in the NBC daytime drama “Another World,” but struggled to secure major Hollywood roles after that.
In Jonathan Demme’s offbeat comedy “Something Wild,” he played Melanie Griffith’s crazy ex-convict husband, a role that hinted at the disarming nerviness he could bring to the film.
“Field of Dreams” increased his profile, and “Goodfellas” cemented his place in cinematic history. (Pesci was the only member of the “Goodfellas” ensemble to be nominated for an Academy Award, earning the best-supporting actor award in 1991.
“As long back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster,” Liotta says in voice-over at the beginning of “Goodfellas.” Scorsese’s vision of midcentury mafia life as the ultimate desire for guys with questionable morals was summed up in that statement.
“Playing Henry Hill in ‘GoodFellas’ was a tall order,” Scorsese said in a statement, “since the role had so many distinct facets, so many deep layers, and Ray was in practically every scene of a lengthy, difficult shoot.” “He blew me away, and I’ll always be proud of the job we made on that picture together.”
The following decades were a mixed bag. Liotta’s films ranged from harsh criminal dramas to thrillers and comedies. “Blow,” “Narc,” “John Q,” “Identity,” and “The Place Beyond the Pines” were among the high-octane performances.
He has appeared on television on occasion, portraying himself in the sitcom “Just Shoot Me!” and co-starring in the NBC cop drama “Shades of Blue” with Jennifer Lopez.
“The Many Saints of Newark,” a recent “Sopranos” prequel film, featured Liotta in a dual role, creating “two very distinctive personalities,” according to “Sopranos” writer David Chase.
“I’ve been a fan of Ray’s work since I first saw him in ‘Something Wild,’ a film he directed. I’m delighted he was a part of ‘The Many Saints of Newark.’ I was convinced in my heart that he was capable of playing both roles “In a statement, Chase stated.
He said, “We all thought we lucked out having him on that movie.”
Michelle Grace, Liotta’s ex-wife, had one daughter with him.