Ray Liotta, ‘Goodfellas’ Star, Dies at 67

by Caitlin Berard

Ray Liotta, beloved Goodfellas and Field of Dreams actor has died at the age of 67. According to TMZ, the actor died in his sleep while filming Dangerous Waters in the Dominican Republic. The actor is survived by his daughter, Karsen, and his fiancee Jacy Nittolo, who accepted his proposal on Christmas 2020 and was with him in the Caribbean for the filming of the upcoming thriller.

Though Ray Liotta’s acting career had been on a downswing in recent years, it was on a resurgence at the time of his death. After his return to a mafia role as twin brothers “Hollywood Dick” and Salvatore “Sally” Moltisanti, for the Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark, his career began to pick up steam once again.

The Goodfellas icon had no less than six films and series in the works for 2022 and 2023: Black Bird, El Tonto, Cocaine Bear, The Substance, Dangerous Waters, and April 29, 1992.

‘Goodfellas’ Star Ray Liotta Gives an Overview of His Hollywood Career

Though Ray Liotta has more than 120 acting credits to his name, he’ll always be remembered as the face and voice of Goodfellas, the legendary 1990 crime drama in which Liotta played the main character, Henry Hill, and provided the voiceover for the entire film.

For Ray Liotta, however, Goodfellas was just one production in a long and exciting career in Hollywood. In an interview with The AU Review following his role in The Many Saints of Newark, Ray Liotta gave an overview of his 4-decade career as an actor.

“I didn’t do my very first movie until…this is a long one,” Liotta said with a sigh. “I didn’t start acting until I was in college. I stayed through college. Graduated. Did a soap opera for three-and-a-half years. Moved to L.A. when I was 25… nothing happened.”

“Then I got my first movie, Something Wild, where I was like a nut-job,” Liotta continued. “And then I did Dominic & Eugene, you seen that one? Me and Tom Hulce. Tom Hulce was unbelievable. Then I did Field of Dreams, then Goodfellas… it’s just such a crazy… I’m not sure I handled it the way I thought it was supposed to be handled. And then things changed, I played a heart surgeon and then [Many Saints of Newark].”

Ray Liotta Talks Being Typecast After His Role as Henry Hill

Ray Liotta had only 10 years of acting experience when he was cast in the leading role of Henry Hill in Goodfellas, but it would define the rest of his career. Though his acting credits include a wide variety of roles, but because of his outstanding performance in Goodfellas, Ray Liotta could never quite escape his “bad guy” image.

“Yeah. I tried to go against it,” Liotta said of being typecast as a villain/mobster. “But then after a while, you say ‘Pfft, I played two bad guys in a row, so what!’ And what’s happening now is actors brand themselves, so they play that same character that they’ve always played before, so there’s no real surprises in anything. When I started in the ’70s, ’80s, it was just different. I think sometimes it shot me in the foot.”