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Hollywood stars were heartbroken over the news of Ray Liotta’s death on Thursday and took to social media to pay tribute to the late actor.
Liotta’s rep Jennifer Craig at Gersh confirmed his death to The Hollywood Reporter, saying the actor died in his sleep while on location. Publicist Jennifer Allen said he was working on the movie Dangerous Waters, shooting in the Dominican Republic. He was 67.
The producers of Dangerous Waters told THR in a statement, “We were deeply saddened to learn of Ray’s passing, it’s a tremendous loss and our heartfelt condolences go out to his family, fiancée Jacy and daughter Karsen.”
The legendary actor’s memorable roles included starring as hustler-turned-mob rat Henry Hill in Martin Scorsese’s GoodFellas and as disgraced baseball player Shoeless Joe Jackson in Field of Dreams (1989). His recent big-screen roles included Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story (2019), Steven Soderbergh’s No Sudden Move (2021) and Alan Taylor’s The Many Saints of Newark (2021).
On the small screen, Liotta portrayed corrupt cop Matt Wozniak on the 2016-18 NBC cop drama Shades of Blue, opposite Jennifer Lopez, and starred in the third season of the Amazon series Hanna. In 2005, he won an Emmy Award for a guest turn on the NBC drama ER.
Scorsese wrote in a statement sent to The Hollywood Reporter: “He was so uniquely gifted, so adventurous, so courageous as an actor. Playing Henry Hill in Good Fellas 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. My heart goes out to his loved ones, and it aches for his loss, way too early.”
GoodFellas co-star Robert De Niro said in a statement sent to THR, “I was very saddened to learn of Ray’s passing. He is way too way young to have left us. May he Rest in Peace.”
Meanwhile, Liotta’s GoodFellas co-star Lorraine Bracco tweeted that she’s “utterly shattered” over the news and credited the actor as the “best part” of their film: “I can be anywhere in the world & people will come up & tell me their favorite movie is ‘Goodfellas.’ Then they always ask what was the best part of making that movie. My response has always been the same…Ray Liotta.”
Lopez, who starred alongside Liotta in Shades of Blue, wrote: “Ray was my partner in crime on Shades of Blue … the first thing that comes to mind is he so was kind to my children. Ray was the epitome of a tough guy who was all mushy on the inside … I guess that’s what made him such a compelling actor to watch. The original Goodfella.”
In a statement, David Chase, who wrote and produced the 2021 Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark, in which Liotta starred, called the actor’s passing “a massive, unexpected shock.”
“I have been an admirer of Ray’s work since I saw him in ‘Something Wild,’ a movie he wrenched by the tail. I was so glad he worked on ‘The Many Saints of Newark.’ I believed strongly in my heart that he could play that double role. He created two distinctly separate characters and each performance was phenomenal,” he said. “Ray was also a very warm and humorous person. A really superior actor. We all felt we lucked out having him on that movie.”
Alessandro Nivola, who starred alongside Liotta in The Many Saints of Newark, reflected on working with the actor. “My first memories of working together, we were on the set, and I found him just staring at me sometimes from across the room in a kind of very intense and intent way,” Nivola told THR. “I just assumed he was sizing me up. But I didn’t know, he could have been thinking about the laundry list. And two weeks into working together, he said that I reminded him of himself as Henry Hill. That was the most incredible affirmation that I could ever receive from him.”
Liotta’s last completed roles before his death was in Black Bird, an Apple TV+ limited series that’s set to premiere in July. Series creator and executive producer Dennis Lehane paid tribute to Liotta, describing working with the actor as “the culmination of a lifelong dream.”
Liotta’s Dominick and Eugene co-star Jamie Lee Curtis paid tribute on Twitter, writing, “Ray Liotta has died. His work as an actor showed his complexity as a human being. A gentle man. So sad to hear.”
Charlie Day, who worked with Liotta on his untitled directorial debut, said of Liotta in a statement to THR, “I’m devastated to hear of Ray’s passing. He was fantastic to work with and gave a great performance that I am sorry he never got to see. I was a longtime fan and getting to work with him was everything I hoped it would be. My thoughts go out to his family.”
Taron Egerton, who stars in the upcoming Apple TV series Black Bird alongside Liotta, wrote on Instagram: “I have never felt such an easy, warm connection with another performer. He was so generous. If I went one way he followed me. Always dancing. Always listening. Never self-generated.”
Other stars who also paid tribute included Cary Elwes, who wrote, “Very sad to hear the news this morning about the passing of #RayLiotta. An extraordinary talent whose remarkable performances left an indelible mark on the screen. Our deepest condolences to his family. RIP Ray.” Lou Diamond Phillips tweeted, “Absolutely stunned at the passing of Ray Liotta. I never had the privilege of working with him but his reputation as one of the good guys was well known. A tragic loss. #RIPRayLiotta.” Producer Gale Anne Hurd also honored Liotta, writing, “#RIP #RayLiotta We collaborated on #MartinCampbell’s #NoEscape, which is worth checking out for his terrific performance as a thoroughly engaging action star. He’s gone way too soon.”
I am utterly shattered to hear this terrible news about my Ray.
I can be anywhere in the world & people will come up & tell me their favorite movie is Goodfellas. Then they always ask what was the best part of making that movie. My response has always been the same…Ray Liotta. pic.twitter.com/3gNjJFTAne
— Lorraine Bracco (@Lorraine_Bracco) May 26, 2022
Ray Liotta has died. His work as an actor showed his complexity as a human being. A gentle man. So sad to hear.
— Jamie Lee Curtis (@jamieleecurtis) May 26, 2022
Ray was my partner in crime on Shades of Blue … the first thing that comes to mind is he so was kind to my children. Ray was the epitome of a tough guy who was all mushy on the inside … I guess that’s what made him such a compelling actor to watch. The original Goodfella. 1/5 pic.twitter.com/IDbOBPNydY
— jlo (@JLo) May 26, 2022
Devastated to hear the news of Ray Liotta’s passing. While he leaves an incredible legacy, he’ll always be “Shoeless Joe Jackson” in my heart. What happened that moment in the film was real. God gave us that stunt. Now God has Ray. pic.twitter.com/JQmk1PsuSK
— Kevin Costner & MW (@modernwest) May 26, 2022
Tremendous actor. Sweetheart of a dad. Such a great funny man to know. Prayers are with his whole family. pic.twitter.com/gBUkJ9MG4m
— Adam Sandler (@AdamSandler) May 26, 2022
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. pic.twitter.com/O5tueLlBMP
— Mangold (@mang0ld) May 26, 2022
RIP Ray Liotta. I feel so lucky to have squared off against this legend in one of his final roles. The scenes we did together were among the all time highlights of my acting career. He was dangerous, unpredictable, hilarious, and generous with his praise for other actors.Too soon pic.twitter.com/FvsV2NNHkw
— Alessandro Nivola (@SandroNivola) May 26, 2022
I can’t believe Ray Liotta has passed away. He was such a lovely, talented and hilarious person. Working with him was one of the great joys of my career and we made some of my favorite scenes I ever got to be in. A true legend of immense skill and grace.
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) May 26, 2022
Although its been years since we worked together, each time we crossed each other’s paths, you were always sincere, kind, gracious, and a loving gentleman. You will be sorely missed, Ray Liotta. Fly with the Angels you insanely talented human being. You touched my life. pic.twitter.com/0tACq6gVdi
— Giancarlo Esposito (@quiethandfilms) May 26, 2022
Too sad to conceive that Ray Liotta has passed. If he’d only made Goodfellas, it would be a credit to retire on. But he was incredible in Cop Land, Narc, Marriage Story & much more, especially his searing debut in Something Wild. His entrance at the end of this scene? Perfection. pic.twitter.com/0IhbRuKx2b
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) May 26, 2022
I’m really sad to hear that Ray Liotta has passed away. He was an friend back in the day and it’s very sad. We had a lot of laughs Rest In Peace My friend.
— ✌🏼rosanna arquette (@RoArquette) May 26, 2022
I try not to do the RIPs but Ray Liotta was truly one of my favorites to watch. He just has this magnetic draw to his performances, which is part of the reason Goddfellas remains tied with Aliens as my favorite film(s) ever made.
This one stung more than usual.
— devon sawa (@DevonESawa) May 26, 2022
RIP GOODFELLA Ray Liotta. I adored you. I love knowing you all those years ago. 😢
— Kristin Chenoweth (@KChenoweth) May 26, 2022
I remember seeing Something Wild for the first time. When Ray Liotta came on the screen you could feel the energy in the room shift. Dangerous. Magnetic. What a debut and what a damn fine actor. RIP and love to his family.
— Josh Charles (@MrJoshCharles) May 26, 2022
RIP the great Ray Liotta, who could make movies feel chaotic in the best way.
— Sean Fennessey (@SeanFennessey) May 26, 2022
RIP Ray Liotta, 67.
Brilliant actor, loved him in Goodfellas. Sad news. pic.twitter.com/TV9BO419MM
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) May 26, 2022
Ray Liotta. Man. Just met dude for the first time last year. GREAT actor. Nice to have had a chance to say that to him. RIP.
— Jeffrey Wright (@jfreewright) May 26, 2022
RIP Ray Liotta!! Loved your work ❤️https://t.co/XmoRVn4L3R
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) May 26, 2022
Had the privilege of working with Ray Liotta on our Fast Times Live read. Hearing his voice it brought me back to his incredible performance in Goodfellas – that narration. 67 – too young man but you created wonderful art. You will be missed.
— Dane Cook (@DaneCook) May 26, 2022
I’ll never forget how terrifying #rayliotta was in SOMETHING WILD, the first time I’d seen him. Years later I directed him on FAMILY GUY and he was so sweet, almost shy. A magnificent actor. RIP
— David Zuckerman (@David_Zuckerman) May 26, 2022
We're very sad to hear the news of Ray Liotta's passing.
A great actor, Ray starred in #StickyNotes, which premiered at #EIFF in 2016, in a role almost completely unrecognisable from the gangster/mobster roles he was so famously associated with.
RIP Ray pic.twitter.com/Q40Z13tTvq
— Edinburgh Film Festival (@edfilmfest) May 26, 2022
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Ray Liotta who starred in instant classics like GOODFELLAS and FIELD OF DREAMS. A star of film and television, @THR remembers him here: https://t.co/74XqiyvtyB
— TCM (@tcm) May 26, 2022
Rest In Peace Ray Liotta, legendary actor and the iconic voice of Tommy Vercetti. pic.twitter.com/d2VPVjRNGX
— Rockstar Games (@RockstarGames) May 26, 2022
Not Ray 💔
— James Caan (@James_Caan) May 26, 2022
It was absolutely heart shattering to hear about Ray Liotta's passing. He was such a talented actor and a wonderful person. Rest in peace Ray, we'll miss you. https://t.co/jly5hO006U
— ROSIE (@Rosie) May 26, 2022
Ray Liotta and his numerous unforgettable characters will forever live in our hearts and minds. pic.twitter.com/EB3Jof89C0
— Warner Bros. (@WBHomeEnt) May 26, 2022
We will never forget the great times we had working with our friend Ray Liotta on Muppets From Space and Muppets Most Wanted. A tough guy on screen, Ray was one of the sweetest, funniest souls we’ve ever known. Rest in Peace, Ray.
— The Muppets (@TheMuppets) May 26, 2022
R.I.P my condolences to Ray Liotta’s close friends and family. pic.twitter.com/SRrlJMpRpw
— 50cent (@50cent) May 26, 2022
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