His cause of death is not clear. Deadline reported on May 26 that Liotta, best known for his role in “Goodfellas” (1990), died in his sleep. “Deadline hears he died in his sleep in the Dominican Republic, where he was shooting the film ‘Dangerous Waters,'” the outlet reported.
Liotta was known for his searing portrayals of mobsters, including in the 2020 “Sopranos” prequel “The Many Saints of Newark.” He was also well-known for his portrayal in the 1989 movie “Field of Dreams,” in which he played baseball legend Shoeless Joe Jackson.
Here’s what you need to know:
No Foul Play Is Suspected
According to TMZ, no foul play is suspected in the actor’s death. “We’re also told there was nothing suspicious about the death, and no foul play is suspected,” the entertainment site reported, confirming that Liotta was dead.
“His fiancée Jacy Nittolo was with him while he was filming,” TMZ reported. She wrote an Instagram tribute to Liotta after his death:
He also leaves behind a daughter, Karsen.
View this post on Instagram
One of his last posts on Instagram showed Liotta meeting Frankie Avalon in February.
The movie “Dangerous Waters” is a movie in production that is to be “set around a sailing holiday that spirals out of control when a teenage daughter (Odeya Rush) traveling with her mother (Burrows) uncovers the dark past of her mom’s new boyfriend (Liotta),” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Liotta Was Born in New Jersey & Started His Acting Career in Television
According to his IMDb profile, Liotta was born in Newark, New Jersey, and was adopted by a town clerk and auto parts store owner.
After studying acting in Miami, he began working in television (“Another World”) before moving into film. One of his first breaks was Jonathan Demme’s “Something Wild” in 1986.
He routinely played psychotic and intense characters. He is most known for the Martin Scorsese mob masterpiece “Goodfellas,” in which he played real-life mobster Henry Hill. His other film credits, according to IMDb, included “Article 99” (1992), “Unlawful Entry” (1992) and “Unforgettable” (1996).
Tributes Flowed for Liotta
Celebrities and fans joined in offering tribute to Liotta. Here are some of the comments on Twitter.
“Holy crap RIP Ray Liotta. That one came out of nowhere,” one user wrote.
“RIP the great Ray Liotta, who could make movies feel chaotic in the best way,” wrote another user.
“Shocked and saddened to hear of Ray Liotta’s passing. Beyond the tough guy exterior and the tightly wound emotions of his signature characters, he was a sweet, playful and passionate collaborator and brilliant actor. RIP,” tweeted James Mangold, who directed Liotta in 1997’s “Cop Land.”
“Ray Liotta’s performance in Goodfellas might be one of the single best in the history of movies. He also commanded the screen at every moment in Field of Dreams. Such a loss. RIP,” one user wrote.
“RIP Ray Liotta, an all-time king. Dying in your sleep while on a vacation you’re getting paid for as a working film shoot is among the top ways I’d go if I got to pick from a list, tbh,” another user tweeted.
“If you don’t watch Goodfellas at some point today you need to unfollow me. I’m so sad. RIP Ray Liotta,” another one tweeted.
“A true legend of cinema with some amazing performances and is forever embedded in COD Zombies for playing Billy Handsome in Mob of the Dead, and in GTA Vice City as Tommy Vercetti,” another user wrote.