'Goodfellas' Star Ray Liota Dies in Middle of Shooting New Film, Reported as 'Total Shocker'


Emmy-winning actor Ray Liotta has passed away, leaving behind fiancée Jacy Nittolo and Karsen, his 23-year-old daughter.

The 67-year-old actor, who had starred as mobster Henry Hill in the 1990s biographical movie “Goodfellas,” died in his sleep, Deadline reported.

Liotta was in the Dominican Republic at the time of his death, where he had been shooting for the film “Dangerous Waters.”

Onlookers who saw Liotta in Los Angeles when he had gone outside in March noticed that he looked “noticeably pale” and “needed help from the valet putting on his jacket,” British outlet The Daily Mail reported.

A source told the outlet that Liotta was “slow and steady on his feet,” and his 46-year-old fiancée was helping him ferry the bags from the car to the hotel.

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Tributes from fans and fellow actors flooded social media after news of Liotta’s death went public.

“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,” Liotta’s Goodfellas co-star Lorraine Bracco wrote in a Thursday post on Twitter.

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“Then they always ask what was the best part of making that movie. My response has always been the same…Ray Liotta,” Bracco wrote.

Film director James Mangold also sent his condolences via Twitter, describing Liotta as a “sweet” and “playful” person who was a “passionate collaborator.”

“Shocked and saddened to hear of Ray Liotta’s passing,” Mangold wrote. “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.”

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“Ray Liotta has died. His work as an actor showed his complexity as a human being. A gentle man. So sad to hear,” actress Jamie Lee Curtis tweeted.

The son of Italian immigrants, Liotta was born December 18, 1954, in New Jersey, where he had been raised by his adoptive parents, Mary and Alfred Liotta.

He studied acting at the University of Miami, where he graduated in 1978 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.

After his graduation, Liotta played in several lesser-known movies before getting a gig in director Martin Scorsese’s “Goodfellas.”

Liotta’s role in Goodfellas was a significant breakthrough in his acting career that propelled him to roles in other major films, most notably “Cop Land,” “Corrina Corrina,” “Operation Dumbo Drop,” “Unforgettable,” “Wild Hogs” and “Blow.”

He was also the voice actor behind Tommy Vincetti in Rockstar Games’ video game “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.”

Despite the tough-guy roles he portrayed on camera, Liotta told People in a November interview that he had “never been in a fight at all, except for during sports, and that’s just pushing and goofy kid stuff.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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