Ray Liotta’s friends and colleagues are mourning the actor after he died at 67 years old on Thursday. The Emmy-winner is being hailed as “a gentle man” and “a sweet, playful and passionate collaborator and brilliant actor.”
Liotta notched his breakout role as Ray Sinclair in Jonathan Demme’s 1986 film “Something Wild.” As Sinclair, the actor earned a Golden Globe nomination, marking the first of many to come. Liotta later earned praise as Shoeless Joe Jackson in the 1989 classic “Field of Dreams,” and of course, as mobster Henry Hill in the 1990 gangster classic “Goodfellas.” Most recently, he helmed memorable roles in “Marriage Story” and “The Sopranos” prequel “The Many Saints of Newark.”
“Shocked and saddened to hear of Ray Liotta’s passing,” wrote James Mangold, who directed Liotta in “Cop Land” (1997) and “Identity” (2003). “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. RIP.”
Shocked and saddened to hear of Ray Liotta’s passing. 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. RIP. pic.twitter.com/O5tueLlBMP
— Mangold (@mang0ld) May 26, 2022
Ray Liotta, ‘Goodfellas’ Star, Dies at 67
Alessandro DiNivola, who co-starred with Liotta in “The Many Saints of Newark,” impressed how “lucky” he felt 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 captioned a still of the two of them from the film.
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 pic.twitter.com/FvsV2NNHkw
— Alessandro Nivola (@SandroNivola) May 26, 2022
Lorraine Bracco, the “Sopranos” star who played Liotta’s wife in “Goodfellas,” wrote a devastating tribute to her late screen partner and friend.
“I am utterly shattered to hear this terrible news about my Ray,” she said. “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.”
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. pic.twitter.com/3gNjJFTAne
— Lorraine Bracco (@Lorraine_Bracco) May 26, 2022
In a heartfelt tribute, Taron Edgerton – who plays the son of Liotta’s police officer in the upcoming Apple series “Black Bird” – wrote “I have never felt such an easy, warm connection with another performer.”
He described Liotta giving him a long hug their first day on set, and the natural dynamic they shared from that day forward.
“When I first saw our show I text him telling him that I felt his performance was beautiful and that I was very proud of our work,” Edgerton recalled. “His response was: ‘you made it easy to love my son.’
“Ray, the feeling was so, so mutual,” he continued. “I will miss you.”
Seth Rogen fondly recalled the experience of acting alongside Liotta in the dark comedy “Observe and Report” (2009). “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.”
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 favorite scenes I ever got to be in. A true legend of immense skill and grace.
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) May 26, 2022
Kristen Chenoweth and Rosanna Arquette remembered Liotta as a “dear friend,” while Viola Davis, Cary Elwes and Jeffrey Wright were among those who expressed admiration for his expansive body of work.
“GREAT actor,” wrote Wright. “Nice to have had the chance to say that to him. RIP.”
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.
— Jeffrey Wright (@jfreewright) May 26, 2022
Added Jamie Lee Curtis, “His work as an actor showed his complexity as a human being.”
Ray Liotta has died. His work as an actor showed his complexity as a human being. A gentle man. So sad to hear.
— Jamie Lee Curtis (@jamieleecurtis) May 26, 2022
Read below for more tributes to the late actor:
— Matthew Modine (@MatthewModine) May 26, 2022
RIP GOODFELLA Ray Liotta. I adored you. I love knowing you all those years ago.
— Kristin Chenoweth (@KChenoweth) May 26, 2022
RIP Ray Liotta, 67.
Brilliant actor, loved him in Goodfellas. Sad news. pic.twitter.com/TV9BO419MM
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) May 26, 2022
I try not to do the RIPs but Ray Liotta was truly one of my favorites to watch. He just has this magnetic draw to his performances, which is part of the reason Goddfellas remains tied with Aliens as my favorite film(s) ever made.
This one stung more than usual.
— devon sawa (@DevonESawa) May 26, 2022
I’m really sad to hear that Ray Liotta has passed away. He was an friend back in the day and it’s very sad. We had a lot of laughs Rest In Peace My friend.
rosanna arquette (@RoArquette) May 26, 2022
Very sad to hear the news this morning about the passing of #RayLiotta. An extraordinary talent whose remarkable performances left an indelible mark on the screen. Our deepest condolences to his family. RIP Ray
— Cary Elwes (@Cary_Elwes) May 26, 2022
I'm so sad about Ray Liotta. I know he's not the flashiest part of Goodfellas but it would never work without his voice in particular–that simultaneously sleazy and wide-eyed quality, like he's really excited to tell a story that will impress a bunch of scumbags.
— Zack Budryk (@BudrykZack) May 26, 2022
Absolutely stunned at the passing of Ray Liotta. I never had the privilege of working with him but his reputation as one of the good guys was well known. A tragic loss. #RIPRayLiotta https://t.co/hPejpXlwjn
— Lou Diamond Phillips (@LouDPhillips) May 26, 2022
RIP Ray Liotta. Great actor and a true Goodfella. You will be missed.
— Isiah Whitlock Jr. (@IsiahWhitlockJr) May 26, 2022
RIP Ray Liotta terrific actor, the original Goodfella, wonderful career, premature death. Condolences to his family. He died doing what he loved, with his boots on, making movies.
— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) May 26, 2022
We are saddened and shocked by the sudden death of SAG Award-nominee Ray Liotta. He gave us legendary performances in Good Fellas, Field of Dreams and so many other films. Our condolences go out to his daughter and fiancée.#sagaftramember since 1977 https://t.co/MjrWOLDsHg
— SAG-AFTRA (@sagaftra) May 26, 2022