Farewell, Ray Liotta

 by Sherif Awad

Ray Liotta, the intense actor from New Jersey best known for his turn as the hustler turned mob rat Henry Hill in Martin Scorsese’s GoodFellas, has died. He was 67.

Liotta is also known for roles that have played off his tough-guy persona, including a mafia henchman in Unlawful Entry and other mob-related roles, including a police chief in Narc and a mafioso in Killing Them Softly.

He was born on December 18, 1954, in Newark, New Jersey. His mother never told him who his father was (they made contact a few years ago) and he grew up with his adoptive parents and two sisters.

Liotta took acting classes at the University of Miami but dropped out to pursue acting full-time. After moving to New York City in 1978, he landed small parts on the soap operas Another World and One Life to Live before making his film debut playing Joe Pesci’s brother in Raging Bull.

Liotta’s big screen roles included his turns as Henry Hill in 1990’s “GoodFellas” and as Shoeless Joe in 1989’s “Field of Dreams.”

In 1996, Liotta was part of an all-star cast that included Tommy Lee Jones and Wesley Snipes in Joel Schumacher’s “The Client.

He also appeared in the NBC crime drama “Shades of Blue,” starring Jennifer Lopez. In 2019, he appeared in the Netflix movie “Polar” with Mads Mikkelsen.

Ray Liotta will be missed by many who enjoyed his work on and off the screen.

Sherif M. Awad
Sherif M. Awad
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