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Actor Ray Liotta Dies May 26, 2022

Published by: Carolyn Brooks Fleming on May 26, 2022.

Actor Ray Liotta died on May 26, 2022, at the age of 67. He was best known for his roles in “GoodFellas” and “Field of Dreams.”

Born in Newark, New Jersey, on December 18, 1954, Ray Liotta was adopted from an orphanage when he was six months old. His adopted parents were Alfred and Mary Liotta.

In 2014, he told The Hollywood Reporter, “I found my birth mother and found out I have, not an identical twin, but a half-brother, five half-sisters and a full sister that I didn’t know about until 15 years ago.”

He studied acting at the University of Miami, then bartended on Broadway while seeking acting roles. His first break came when he was cast as a nice guy, Joey Perrini, on the NBC soap “Another World” in 1978.

Soon after that, his movie career blossomed. However, he was frequently cast as darker characters: a violent husband in “Something Wild”; a disgraced baseball player in “Field of Dreams”; a corrupt cop in “Unlawful Entry,” “Cop Land,” and “Narc”; and a mobster in “GoodFellas” and “The Many Saints of Newark.”

These darker characters contrasted with Liotta’s real-life behavior, as he often emphasized in interviews. For example, he said, “I have never been in a fight at all, except for during sports, and that's just pushing and goofy kid stuff.”

Showing his range as an actor, Liotta also appeared in movies as diverse as “Dominick and Eugene,” “Hannibal,” “Bee Movie,” and “Muppets Most Wanted.”

Liotta was featured in many prime-time television roles, including ABC’s “Our Family Honor,” NBC’s “Shades of Blue,” and Apple TV’s “In With the Devil.” He narrated “Inside the Mafia” for the National Geographic Channel.

He also voiced the mobster Tommy Vercetti for the 2002 video game “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.”

Liotta’s career had been on the upswing recently, following a slower phase. In 2021, he told People, “For some reason, I've been busier this year than I have in all the years that I've been doing this. And I still feel I'm not there yet. I just think there's a lot more.”

Ray Liotta died in his sleep in the Dominican Republic, where he had just begun working on a movie, “Dangerous Waters.” He is survived by his fiancee, Jacy Nittolo, and his daughter, Karsen.

Learn more about him in his own words.

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SOURCES

Barnes, Mike. “Ray Liotta, Actor in ‘GoodFellas,’ Dies at 67.” The Hollywood Reporter, May 26, 2022, https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/movies/movie-news/ray-liotta-dead-goodfellas-1235154615/.

France, Lisa Respers and Melas, Chloe. “Ray Liotta, ‘Goodfellas’ star, is dead at 67.” CNN, May 26, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/26/entertainment/ray-liotta-dead/index.html.

VanHoose, Benjamin. “Ray Liotta, ‘Goodfellas’ Actor and Emmy Winner, Dead at 67.” People, May 26, 2022, https://people.com/movies/ray-liotta-dead-at-age-67/.

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