Ray Liotta, 67
Liotta’s acting career spanned more than four decades; he often played tough guys thanks to his sinister laugh and hard-to-miss New Jersey accent.
His breakout role was playing psycho Ray Sinclair opposite Melanie Griffith and Jeff Daniels in the 1986 cult classic “Something Wild,” which earned him a Golden Globe nomination. But the actor would find stardom four years later when he played Henry Hill in Martin Scorsese’s 1990 classic “Goodfellas.”
As Hill, based on the real-life mobster who became an FBI informant in 1980, Liotta was a powerhouse on-screen, performing opposite two seasoned Hollywood actors, and Scorsese regulars, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci.
In an interview with Insider in 2018, Liotta admitted the stardom of “Goodfellas” was so sudden and shocking he didn’t know how to use it to elevate his career.
“I didn’t have a publicist up until ‘Goodfellas,'” he said. “I didn’t know that was what you’re supposed to do. Nobody was helping me. I had the agents, but back then I think I was with the wrong people at that time to get me to the next thing.”
Liotta made a mark in films like 1997’s “Cop Land” and 2002’s “Narc.”
Most recently, Liotta had memorable roles in Noah Baumbach’s 2019 drama “Marriage Story” and “The Many Saints of Newark” in 2021.
“Younger people, like 14-, 15-year-old kids, come up to me, and they’ll say that they saw a movie of mine,” Liotta told Insider in 2018, adding that he’s “very, very lucky” he did movies that “will live for a long time.”
Liotta died on May 26; no cause was given.