Ray Liotta has died. The actor was 67.

Liotta, who was perhaps best known for his career-defining role in the Martin Scorsese classic Goodfellas, died in his sleep while shooting the movie Dangerous Waters in the Dominican Republic, Deadline reports.

Born in Newark, New Jersey, on December 18, 1954, Liotta would eventually cut his teeth in performances of Cabaret and Oklahoma while studying acting at the University of Miami. In the late '70s, he moved to New York City and booked the soap opera, Another World, on which he starred until 1981.

Liotta made his big screen debut with a supporting role in director Peter Sasdy's The Lonely Lady in 1983, with a leading role to follow in the 1986 Jonathan Demme comedy Something Wild, opposite Jeff Daniels and Melanie Griffith, which earned him critical praise and his first acting accolades.

Joe Pesci and Ray Liotta in 1990's 'Goodfellas'. (Courtesy of Warner Bros.)

The late '80s marked Liotta's breakout, with starring roles as Chicago White Sox superstar Shoeless Joe Jackson in 1989's Field of Dreams and as mafioso Henry Hill in 1990's Goodfellas. The former earned three Oscar nominations — including Best Picture — while Goodfellas earned six nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director, with co-star Joe Pesci winning Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

"He was so uniquely gifted, so adventurous, so courageous as an actor," Scorsese said following news of Liotta's passing. "Playing Henry Hill in Goodfellas was a tall order, because the character had so many different facets, so many complicated layers, and Ray was in almost every scene of a long, tough shoot. He absolutely amazed me, and I’ll always be proud of the work we did together on that picture."

Liotta would go on to deliver memorable turns in Cop Land (1997), Hannibal (2001), Narc (2002) and Killing Them Softly (2012), among others, receiving recent acclaim for his work in Marriage Story (2019) and The Many Saints of Newark (2021), playing twin brothers Aldo "Hollywood Dick" and Salvatore "Sally" Moltisanti. He recently wrapped filming the Elizabeth Banks directed Cocaine Bear, which is set for release in 2023.

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Liotta won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his 2005 appearance on NBC's ER, playing an alcoholic ex-con named Charlie Metcalf in the season 11 episode, "Time of Death."

Liotta is survived by fiancée Jacy Nittolo, to whom he got engaged on Christmas 2020, and his 23-year-old daughter Karsen.

Karsen and Ray Liotta for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2019. (via Getty Images)


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