The Chicago Journal

Goodfellas Actor Ray Liotta Passes Away in His Sleep at Age 67

When actors get typecast into certain roles, it ends up haunting them for the rest of their careers, but Ray Liotta took a different spin in his contribution to the crime genre, helping it thrive for years while branching out into other genres. The actor, who flew to the Dominican Republic to shoot a new film, unfortunately passed away at the age of 67.

Ray Liotta passed away between Wednesday night and Thursday morning in his sleep in the hotel room he had been staying in with his fiancee. However, no foul play was suspected.

The actor was born in Newark, New Jersey, and had been left at an orphanage. He was adopted at six months old and later found his biological mother in the 2000s. Growing up, Liotta studied acting, and the rest was history.

Liotta is best known for contributing his talent to the crime genre, often playing shady cops. But he made his breakthrough in the film Something Wild before playing the role of Shoeless Shoe Jackson in Field of Dreams. In 1990, Ray Liotta portrayed real-life mobster Henry Hill in the Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas, which had been adapted from the nonfiction book Wiseguy. Goodfellas became synonymous with Ray Liotta’s name.

During filming, he and co-star Joe Pesci improvised the iconic “Funny how?” sequence, which was based on a story Pesci told him and director Scorsese. Pesci got into a situation where someone misinterpreted what he was saying and got irate. The scene became a popular quote and got immortalized as a GIF online. 

Liotta’s onscreen wife, played by Lorraine Bracco also paid tribute to the actor when she wrote a heartfelt message online.

“I am utterly shattered to hear this terrible news about my Ray,” Bracco wrote on Twitter. “I can be anywhere in the world and people will come up and 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.”

Before his death, Ray Liotta landed some recent roles that includes Marriage Story, No Sudden Move, and The Many Saints of Newark, to name a few.