Goodfellas actor Ray Liotta dead at 67
LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Actor Ray Liotta, who starred in Martin Scorsese’s gangster classic Goodfellas, has died suddenly in the Dominican Republic, officials and police said on Thursday (May 26). He was 67.
Liotta, whose blistering turn as real-life mobster Henry Hill in Scorsese’s crime masterpiece won universal admiration, was shooting a new film in the country when he died in his sleep.
Police said emergency services were called early Thursday morning to a hotel in Santo Domingo where they found Liotta already dead.
The actor’s publicist in Los Angeles, Jennifer Allen, confirmed his death, saying there were no suspicious circumstances.
Allen said he had been working on a movie called Dangerous Waters.
Liotta became a household name in 1990 when he was cast alongside Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci in what is widely considered one of the greatest films of the 20th century.
Goodfellas won one Oscar, and was nominated for five others. Scenes from the movie continue to resonate as cultural touchstones more than three decades later.
A year before Goodfellas, Liotta had played baseball star "Shoeless Joe” Jackson in beloved sports movie Field Of Dreams, opposite Kevin Costner.
The film was nominated for three Oscars, including best picture.
‘A gentle man’
News of Liotta’s death sparked a flood of tributes from colleagues and contemporaries, with Goodfellas co-star Lorraine Bracco, who played on-screen wife Karen, saying she was “utterly shattered to hear this terrible news.”
“I can be anywhere in the world & people will come up & tell me their favourite movie is Goodfellas,” she tweeted.
“Then they always ask what was the best part of making that movie. My response has always been the same... Ray Liotta.”