Ray Liotta to be Honored by New Jersey Hometown Following Tragic Death

by Megan Molseed

The late Ray Liotta is being honored in his New Jersey hometown following the movie star’s tragic passing late last month. Liotta has long been one of the most recognizable people in the film industry. And it was a shock when news broke last week that Ray Liotta died unexpectedly while on location in the Dominican Republic. Since then, many have been honoring the 67-year-old actor. Including the people of his hometown, Union Township New Jersey.

According to TMZ, the mayor of Union Township Mayor Manuel Figueiredo has announced plans to honor Liotta. Officially a Newark, New Jersey native, Liotta graduated from Union High School in 1973. And, this isn’t the first time Liotta has been honored by his hometown connections, either. The actor was inducted into the Union High School’s Hall of Fame in 1993.

Ray Liotta’s Hometown Will Honor the Late Actor Following His Tragic Death

Officials in Union Township New Jersey are considering honoring the late actor by naming one of the youth baseball fields after him. This, of course, is a nod to one of Ray Liotta’s most prolific film roles as Shoeless Joe Jackson in the hit 1989 Kevin Costner-led mega-hit, Field of Dreams.

New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission’s executive director Steven Gorelick says that the news of Liotta’s unexpected passing was difficult news to process. It hit him with the “same force as when James Gandolfini died,” Gorelick tells NorthJersey.com. Of course, Gorelick is referring to the late Sopranos star James Gandolfini who is also a Jersey native. Gorelick notes that both Liotta and Gandolfini are “Jersey boys through and through.”

In fact, one of Liotta’s last roles connects him to the Sopranos world. This comes as the popular movie star portrayed dual roles in last year’s Sopranos sequel The Many Saints of Newark. In the film, Liotta portrays both ‘Hollywood Dick’ Moltisanti and his twin brother Salvatore ‘Sally’ Moltisanti.

Ray Liotta Remained Proud Of His New Jersey Roots

There are plenty of legendary actors who hail from New Jersey, Steven Gorelick says. However, Ray Liotta is certainly “one of the greatest and most beloved.” He was regularly talking “about his Jersey roots and never strayed far from them.”

Even many of Liotta’s characters reflect his Jersey roots, Gorelick adds. “There was a lot of Jersey,” he says of Ray Liotta’s legendary turn as Frank Sinatra in the 1998 HBO production The Rat Pack.

Of course, the longtime actor is best known for his turn on The Field of Dreams. As well as his role as Henry Hill in the 1990 hit film, Goodfellas.

“He had those two movies back to back, at the beginning of his career,” Gorelick says of the iconic roles. “That’s a good twin bill there.”