May 26, 2022: Actor Ray Liotta of ‘Goodfellas’ Fame is Mourned

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Ray Liotta, the actor best known for his role as Henry Hill in Martin Scorsese’s 1990 motion picture, Goodfellas, died in his sleep on May 26, 2022, while filming a movie, Dangerous Waters, in the Dominican Republic. Liotta was 67. [Nearly a year later, it was revealed that the cause of death was acute heart failure and fluid in his lungs.] His Goodfellas co-star, Lorraine Bracco paid tribute, writing that she was “utterly shattered” by his death. Her complete statement, and several others, are below.

Liotta, born December 18, 1954, was 35 years-old when Goodfellas was released. One of his other major film roles was his portrayal of “Shoeless Joe” Jackson in 1989’s Field of Dreams.

Goodfellas co-star Robert De Niro, issued a statement. “I was very saddened to learn of Ray’s passing. He is way too young to have left us. May he rest in peace.”

Related: Musicians and other celebrities we lost in 2022

It would be hard to exclude this memorable scene in Goodfellas with Liotta opposite Joe Pesci.

Field of Dreams star Kevin Costner shared an incredible moment that occurred during the filming of the movie.

Watch Liotta with Costner in Field of Dreams

Among the scores of films that Liotta appeared in were The Many Saints of Newark, director David Chase’s 2021 prequel to The Sopranos. Liotta had already completed production for Cocaine Bear, released in 2023 from director Elizabeth Banks, as well as Fool’s Paradise, a comedy, written, directed and starring Charlie Day, alongside such stars as Jason Sudeikis, Kate Beckinsale, Ken Jeong, Edie Falco and John Malkovich.

Of Goodfellas‘ many iconic scenes, one memorable one was the so-called helicopter scene, featuring a drugged out “Henry Hill,” with Harry Nilsson’s recording of “Jump Into the Fire” as the backdrop.

Liotta, who also narrated Goodfellas, was born in Newark, NJ, and was adopted at the age of six months. He earned a BFA from the Univ. of Miami in 1978. He moved to New York City after graduating and soon joined the cast of the TV soap opera Another World. His first prominent film role was in 1986’s Something Wild, for which he received a Golden Globe nomination.

Liotta starred with Jennifer Lopez in the police drama series, Shade of Blue. She wrote, in part: “Ray was my partner in crime on Shades of Blue … the first thing that comes to mind is he so was kind to my children. Ray was the epitome of a tough guy who was all mushy on the inside … I guess that’s what made him such a compelling actor to watch. The original Goodfella.”

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  1. 122intheshade
    #1 122intheshade 27 May, 2022, 00:03

    Aaaaannnndddd . . . Hannibal Lechter ate his brain.

    RIP Ray.

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  2. Dr. Vinny Boombatz
    #2 Dr. Vinny Boombatz 28 May, 2022, 16:38

    Ray Liotta owned “Goodfellas”.

    His expressions, his mannerisms, his gazes/stares, and even his silent frustration moments, were integral to Henry Hill, and how the movie sequenced – All the others, while talented, were part of the cast.

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