Martin Scorsese Pens Heartfelt Tribute to Ray Liotta, Regrets Not Working With Him After ‘Goodfellas’

by Shelby Scott

Hollywood continues to mourn the loss of actor Ray Liotta following his tragic death at 67 years old last month. Liotta held a number of prominent film roles throughout his decades-long career. However, one of his most memorable came in Martin Scorsese’s 1990 gangster film, “Goodfellas.” Several weeks have passed since we learned of the actor’s sudden demise. But recently, Scorsese shared a heartfelt tribute to Ray Liotta. In it, he revealed his regrets for not working with the star following “Goodfellas'” production.

“We had many plans to work together again,” Scorsese said, “but the timing was always off, or the project wasn’t quite right.”

He added, “I regret that now.”

Martin Scorsese Highlights Ray Liotta’s Acting Abilities

According to ET, Martin Scorsese aimed to work with Liotta again after seeing his performance in “Marriage Story” (2019). Of his performance, the 79-year-old director said, “He’s genuinely scary in the role, which is precisely why he’s so funny — I remember feeling that I wanted to work with him again at this point in his life.”

If he’d had the opportunity to, Scorsese said he hoped “to explore the gravity in his presence, so different from the young, sprightly actor he was when [he] met him.”

The longtime director further mourned the missed opportunity to tell Liotta just how much he enjoyed working with him. In his message, he penned, “I wish I’d had the chance to see him just once more, too – to tell him just how much the work we did together meant to me. But maybe he knew that. I hope so.”

The “Goodfellas” actor reportedly died in his sleep while working on a new project, “Dangerous Waters,” in the Dominican Republic.

Ray Liotta Once Received an Alarming Gift From Frank Sinatra’s Daughters

After reading Martin Scorsese’s emotional tribute to actor Ray Liotta, it’s clear the “Goodfellas” star made lasting personal connections throughout his long career. However, not everyone loved the movie star. That became immediately clear at the turn of the century when Frank Sinatra’s daughters sent Liotta a rather alarming gift.

In 1998, Ray Liotta made “The Rat Pack,” a series detailing the lives of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and more. However, before creating the series, Frank Sinatra’s daughters had wanted to make a film about their father; and they wanted Ray Liotta at the forefront.

Ultimately, the actor turned down the role, telling the artist’s story through different methods. In their anger, the star’s children mailed the “Goodfellas” actor a fake horse head, a reference to the iconic film, “The Godfather.”

During a previous interview, Liotta explained, “We were doing [‘The Rat Pack’] and I got delivered a horse’s head. Obviously, it wasn’t a real one, but it was a horse’s head. And, you know, a horse’s head means you’re toast.”