Goodfellas star Ray Liotta dies aged 67 'while filming new movie in Dominican Republic'

26 May 2022, 17:21 | Updated: 26 May 2022, 22:48

Ray Liotta has died in his sleep in the Dominican Republic aged 67
Ray Liotta has died in his sleep in the Dominican Republic aged 67. Picture: Alamy

By Megan Hinton

Ray Liotta has died in his sleep in the Dominican Republic aged 67.

The star died on Thursday in the Dominican Republic, where he was filming the upcoming film Dangerous Waters.

It is not yet clear what he died of, but no foul play was suspected.

Liotta leaves behind a daughter, Karsen and his fiancé Jacy Nittolo.

Among his is most famous roles was Goodfellas, in 1990, where he portrayed former Lucchese crime family member Henry Hill.

He also stared in films such as Field of Dreams, Cop Land, Corrina Corrina, Operation Dump Drop, Unforgettable and Blow.

Liotta found fame playing Ray Sinclair in 1986 film Something Wild, for which he received a Golden Globe nomination.

Read more: Depeche Mode keyboardist and founder Andy Fletcher dies aged 60

Ray Liotta has died in his sleep in the Dominican Republic aged 67
Ray Liotta has died in his sleep in the Dominican Republic aged 67. Picture: Alamy

In recent years Liotta appeared in The Many Saints Of Newark and starred alongside Taron Egerton in the Apple TV series Black Bird.

A statement from Mr Liotta's publicist said: "Ray Liotta passed away while in the Dominican Republic. Ray was shooting a movie called 'Dangerous Waters' on the island, and died in his sleep.

"There was nothing suspicious about the death, and no foul play is suspected. His fiancee Jacy Nittolo was with him while he was filming."

The star recently advertised his new movie Cocaine Bear on Instagram, writing: "Cocaine Bear follows an oddball group of cops, criminals, tourists and teens converging in a Georgia forest where a 500-pound apex predator has ingested a staggering amount of the white powder and goes on a coke-fuelled rampage seeking more blow — and blood."

Goodfellas actress Lorraine Bracco shared a photo of her and Liotta and said: "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.

"Then they always ask what was the best part of making that movie. My response has always been the same... Ray Liotta."

Jamie Lee Curtis, who appeared in the 1988 drama Dominick And Eugene with Liotta, tweeted: "Ray Liotta has died. His work as an actor showed his complexity as a human being. A gentle man. So sad to hear."

Jennifer Lopez has remembered the kind nature of her Shades of Blue "partner in crime" Ray Liotta following his death at the age of 67.

The stars acted alongside one another in the crime drama from 2016 to 2018, with Lopez recalling that she felt "lucky to have him there to work with and learn from" as she paid tribute to her late co-star.

Lopez paid tribute by sharing a series of photos on Instagram of them together along with a clip of the pair acting out an emotional scene during the show.

She wrote: "Ray was my partner in crime on Shades of Blue ... the first thing that comes to mind is he was so kind to my children.

"Ray was the epitome of a tough guy who was all mushy on the inside ... I guess that's what made him such a compelling actor to watch. The original Goodfella."

The pop superstar and actor recalled how she was "thrilled" to learn he had got the role on Shades of Blue and how they had an "electric spark and a mutual respect" from their first scene.

She added: "Like all artists he was complicated, sincere, honest and so very emotional. Like a raw nerve, he was so accessible and so in touch in his acting and I will always remember our time together fondly.

"We lost a great today ... RIP RAY ... it's so sad to lose you what seems way too soon ... I will remember you always. Sending so much love and strength to your daughter Karsen, your family and all your loved ones."

Famous faces from the world of entertainment also paid tribute to the actor including Ed Sheeran who said that he was "so very sad" to hear of Liotta's death.

The singer recalled working with Liotta on the music video for his song Bloodstream and hanging out with him at gigs, adding: "He was such a fun guy, so so sweet, and I loved being around him.

"Goodfellas will always be my favourite movie. Will raise a toast tonight for him".

Taron Egerton recalled the "profound experience" of playing Liotta's son in the upcoming Apple TV series Black Bird.

In a heartfelt post on Instagram, the actor described his excitement on the first day on set and how Liotta came over to give him a long hug without saying a word.

He added: "What ensued was a profound experience for me as an actor; I have never felt such an easy, warm connection with another performer. He was so generous. If I went one way he followed me. Always dancing. Always listening. Never self-generated."

Egerton noted that he was proud of his later projects but that he will always be "most proud" of his scenes with Liotta and that the father-son relationship they built felt real in "some strange way".

Seth Rogen described Liotta as a "true legend" as he recalled the "joy" of starring alongside him in the 2009 comedy film Observe And Report.

He tweeted: "I can't believe Ray Liotta has passed away. He was such a lovely, talented and hilarious person.

"Working with him was one of the great joys of my career and we made some of my favourite scenes I ever got to be in. A true legend of immense skill and grace."

Jamie Lee Curtis, who starred with Liotta in 1988 drama Dominick And Eugene, remembered him as a "gentle man".

She wrote on Twitter: "Ray Liotta has died. His work as an actor showed his complexity as a human being. A gentle man. So sad to hear."

Viola Davis also paid tribute by writing on Twitter: "RIP Ray Liotta!! Loved your work" and Kristen Chenoweth added: "I adored you. I love knowing you all those years ago."

Alessandro Nivola said acting alongside Liotta in the 2021 crime drama The Many Saints Of Newark was one of his career highlights.

Nivola shared a photo of one of their scenes together on Twitter, writing: "RIP Ray Liotta. I feel so lucky to have squared off against this legend in one of his final roles.

"The scenes we did together were among the all time highlights of my acting career.

"He was dangerous, unpredictable, hilarious, and generous with his praise for other actors. Too soon"

James Mangold, who directed Liotta in the 2003 thriller Identity, also posted a photo of the pair as he expressed how he was "shocked and saddened" to hear the news.

He added: "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."

The Batman star Jeffrey Wright said he was glad he got a chance to tell Liotta that he was a "great actor".

He tweeted: "Ray Liotta. Man. Just met dude for the first time last year. GREAT actor. Nice to have had a chance to say that to him. RIP."

Actress Rosanna Arquette also expressed sadness over the news of her friend's death, recalling how they had a "lot of laughs" together.