Actor Ray Liotta, best known for his leading role in Martin Scorsese’s mob classic “Goodfellas,” died in his sleep Thursday while filming a movie in the Dominican Republic.
Liotta, 67, was filming a movie titled “Dangerous Waters.” There was no immediate word on a cause of death.
A New Jersey native, Liotta rose to stardom in the 1980s, appearing in the films “Something Wild” — which earned him a Golden Globe nomination – – and “Dominick and Eugene” before portraying Shoeless Joe Jackson in Kevin Costner’s cult-hit baseball fable “Field of Dreams.”
He became a superstar the following year with the release of “Goodfellas,” in which he portrayed mobster-turned-informant Henry Hill in a film that featured a who’s who of Hollywood greats, including Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci.
He went on to appear in films including “Identity,” “Cop Land,” “Hannibal,” “Smokin’ Aces,” “Wild Hogs,” “Killing Them Softly,” “The Many Saints of Newark” and “No Sudden Move.”
He recently wrapped filming of the thriller “Cocaine Bear,” directed by Elizabeth Banks.
Though known for his tough-guy roles, he also had a softer side, appearing in “Muppets from Space” and “Muppets Most Wanted.”
Liotta also appeared on the small screen, most recently in Apple TV+’s “Black Bird,” but also in shows such as “Shades of Blue,” “Hanna,” “Young Sheldon,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and “Texas Rising.” He won an Emmy in 2005 for his guest appearance in the medical drama “ER.”
“His work as an actor showed his complexity as a human being,” actress Jamie Lee Curtis wrote on Twitter. “A gentle man. So sad to hear.”
Lorraine Bracco, who portrayed Liotta’s wife in “Goodfellas,” wrote on Twitter she is “utter shattered” by the news.
“I can be anywhere in the world & people will come up & tell me their favorite movie is `Goodfellas,”‘ she wrote. “Then they always ask what was the best part of making that movie. My response has always been the same … Ray Liotta.”
De Niro issued a statement saying, “I was very saddened to learn of Ray’s passing. He is way too young to have left us. May he rest in peace.”
Seth Rogen, who appeared with Liotta in the comedy “Observe and Report,” called him “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 favorite scenes I ever got to be in,” he said. “A true legend of immense skill and grace.”
Liotta recently got engaged to Jacy Nittolo. TMZ reported that she was with him in the Dominican Republic.
Liotta is survived by his 23-year-old daughter Karsen.