Goodfellas's Star Ray Liotta Dead At 67


The actor Ray Liotta has died.

According to his publicist, Jennifer Allen, Liotta was in the Dominican Republic shooting the Dangerous Waters when he died in his sleep.

He was 67 years old.

The actor is perhaps best known for his role as Henry Hill in the 1990 Martin Scorsese movie Goodfellas.

He helped shape the idea of a gangster movie for years to come.

The movie was based on the non-fiction book Wise Guy by Nicholas Pileggi.

To prepare for the role, Liotta told WHYY's Fresh Air that he sat in his mother's car and listened to hours and hours of tape of Hill being interviewed.

"And the biggest thing that I learned from it was just how casual they were, how casual Henry was about what happened," said Liotta.

"It was just like he was telling a story of what his kids were doing and how they played in a park, except they were talking about, you know, people getting killed or beaten."

Liotta was born in 1954 in Newark, N.J. After being adopted by the Liotta family, he grew up in a nearby Union.

He started acting at the University of Miami, majoring in drama.

After graduation, he worked in minor roles in commercials and TV shows.

Moreover, his breakout turn was in 1986's Something Wild, directed by Jonathan Demme.

From there, he played the ghost of baseball legend Shoeless Joe Jackson in Field of Dreams, after which he got cast in Goodfellas.

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