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Film

Ray Liotta, the star of ‘Goodfellas’, dies at 67

@LeeThomasMason

Ray Liotta, the famed actor who starred in Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece Goodfellas, has died at the age of 67.

While no specific details of his passing have been announced, Deadline is reporting that the actor “died in his sleep in the Dominican Republic, where he was shooting the film Dangerous Waters.”

Whilst Liotta enjoyed a fruitful career working with the likes of directors such as Noah Baumbach, Steven Soderbergh, Robert Rodriguez and Ridley Scott, no collaboration was more important than that of Martin Scorsese.

Appearing in the 1990 movie Goodfellas alongside Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Lorraine Bracco, Liotta helped to create one of the finest gangster movies of all time. Playing the lead character of Henry Hill, Scorsese’s film follows Hill’s life in the mob with partners Jimmy Conway (De Niro) and Tommy DeVito (Pesci).

Inspired by Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather, Scorsese’s film had a significant hand in transforming the American gangster genre. Reviving the taste for such gangster stories after a period of significant stagnation, the sleek appearance of Goodfellas along with its stunning acting performances made it an instant critical and commercial classic.

Despite being the main star of the movie, Liotta never worked with Martin Scorsese again, with the director preferring the timeless talent of Robert De Niro, with the two working together on nine different projects since.

Asked why he never appeared in another film by the iconic director, Liotta spoke to The Guardian in September 2021 and too questioned the lack of collaboration. “I don’t know, you’d have to ask him,” Liotta simply replied, highlighting that he would “love” to work with the director once more.

Despite falling somewhat out of favour with Scorsese, Liotta was on a recent career resurgence, appearing in the HBO Max Sopranos movie The Many Saints of Newark as well as Noah Baumbach’s emotional Oscar-winning drama Marriage Story in 2019.

He also featured in the 2021 crime thriller No Sudden Move directed by Steven Soderbergh where he starred alongside Don Cheadle, Benicio Del Toro, Brendan Fraser and Jon Hamm.

Whilst he has several films currently in production, Liotta recently completed the Charlie Day comedy El Tonto, as well as the Elizabeth Banks thriller Cocaine Bear, with both films scheduled for release in 2023.

Liotta, who was engaged to be married to Jacy Nittolo, is survived by his daughter, Karsen.

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