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Ray Liotta, Star of “Goodfellas” and “Field of Dreams” dies

Lindsey Bahr and Martin Adams Associated Press

Ray Liotta, the most well-known blue-eyed actor for playing gangster Henry Hill in “Goodfellas” and baseball player Shoeless Joe Jackson in “Field of Dreams,” has died. I did. He was 67 years old.

A Riotta spokeswoman, Jen Allen, said he was filming a new movie in the Dominican Republic and didn’t wake up Thursday morning. Police in the Dominican Republic said Riotta was called at the hotel where he was staying with his fiancé just before 6 am on Thursday and found the actor dead.

Robert De Niro, who co-starred with Riotta in “Goodfellas,” said in an email: He is too young to leave us. “

Another “Goodfellas” star, Lorraine Bracco, who played Henry’s wife Karen Hill, tweeted Thursday. Then they always ask what was the best part of making that movie. My reaction is always the same … Ray Liotta. “

Riotta was also mourned by Alessandro Nivola, who recently appeared in the first part of The Sopranos, “Many Saints of Newark,” and by filmwriter and producer David Chase. Nivola called Liotta “dangerous, unpredictable, cheerful, and generous in praising other actors.” “We all felt lucky that he was able to appear in the movie,” Chase said in his statement.

Born in 1954 in Newark, NJ, six months after the orphanage, he was adopted by a town clerk and an auto parts owner. Riotta always thought he was mostly Italian — so did the movie. But later, when looking for his parents, who were born, he realized he was actually Scottish.

When I was in the third year of high school, I grew up focusing on sports such as baseball, but when my theater teacher asked me if I wanted to go play, I agreed with the gourd. It sowed seeds, whether he knew at the time or not, but still thought he would finish the construction work. Later, at the University of Miami, he chose drama and acting because of the lack of math requirements. He often said in interviews that a pretty girl told him that he just started auditioning for the play. But it led him to the path. After his graduation, he welcomed an agent and soon made his first big break in the soap opera “Another World”.

As her husband Ray, who was enthusiastically convicted of the Melanie Griffith character, it will take years for him to play the role of the first big movie in Jonathan Demme’s “Something Wild.” He was 30 at the time and hadn’t had a stable job for five years. In an interview in 1993, he told The Associated Press that he wanted to take advantage of his strengths even if he knew Griffith. When that didn’t work, he “called Melanie.”

“Because it’s politics for me. Call someone to help you, but I realized it’s part of everything,” he said.

That turn, he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award. A few years later, he played a memorable role in the ghost of Shoeless Joe Jackson in the Field of Dreams. Many wept, but it’s not without critics. Riotta recalled hearing a baseball announcer complaining during the Mets game that he had hit the opposite of Joe Jackson.

“(Bleup) you! He didn’t come back from death!” Riotta remembered thinking.

His most iconic role as Martin Scorsese’s “Goodfellas” and real-life gangster Henry Hill came shortly thereafter. However, he and Scorsese had to fight for it and made multiple auditions and petitions to the studio to cast something still relatively unknown.

Roger Ebert wrote in his review that “Goodfellas” solidified Riotta (and Bracco) as “two of our best new film actors.”

“He creates the emotional center of the film about emotions, not the experience of being a mafia,” continued Ebert.

In a 2012 interview, Riotta said: It is really others who are actually killing everything. One physical thing he does is when chasing a man who chased Karen. Most audiences really like him. “

In the same interview, he marveled at how “Good fellas” had a “unique life” and grew over time.

“People keep watching it over and over and still react to it, and different ages come in. Even today, teens come to me and they really emotionally lead to it,” he said. Said.

Regardless of the size or genre of the role, whether Johnny Depp’s “Blow” father or Adam Driver’s “Marriage Story” bullish divorce lawyer, Riotta always stands out in both drama and comedy. , I was able to steal the scene. .. “

Mafiosos seemed to be his specialty (he even narrated an AMC documentary series called “Making a Mob”), but he was wary of being typecasted. He turned down the Ralph part in “The Sopranos” for that. However, he ended up playing a mob type with James Gandolfini in Andrew Dominik’s “Killing Them Softly.” And later, he will pay his own ticket for the audition for “Many Saints of Newark”.

Published by Warner Bros. Pictures, this image shows Joe Icocodias, Ray Liotta, and John Boras from the left, “Many Saints of Newark.” Baseball player Shoeless Joe Jackson, the best-known actor for playing gangster Henry Hill in “Good Fellows,” died in “Field of Dreams.” He was 67 years old. (Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)

“I really don’t know what made me so determined,” he told the Guardian last year. “But fortunately it all worked.”

Liotta also has various films, from police and detectives to federal agents, in various films such as “Traveling,” “Cop Land,” “Nark,” “Place Beyond the Pines,” and “Observe and Report.” Played the law enforcement agency. Many were broken.

He was the victim of Hannibal Lecter in the 2001 movie Hannibal, played Frank Sinatra in the television movie Rat Pack, and was nominated for the National Film Actors Union. For gamers, he has become immortal as Tommy Vercetti’s voice in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. He also starred on the other side of Jennifer Lopez in the series “Shades of Blue”.

His only regret, he once Los Angeles TimesDeclined the meeting to talk to Tim Burton about starring in “Batman”.

Riotta had a former wife Michelle Grace and a daughter, Karsen, who was engaged in marrying Jacey Nittro at the time of his death.

He also had a number of recently wrapped projects, including Elizabeth Banks’ Cocaine Bear, due out in February, and Dennis Lehane’s Apple TV + crime series, Blackbird, developed by Dennis Lehane. .. Egerton and Paul Walter Hauser. He was planning to start another movie soon: “Matter” with Demi Moore and Margaret Qualley.

“No matter where you are in your career, your business is rough,” Liotta said in 2012. Believe what they are seeing is really happening — it’s still a challenge and puts the puzzle together. You know, I can say, I still like to pretend. And it’s certainly a fun way to make a living. “

Ray Liotta, Star of “Goodfellas” and “Field of Dreams” dies

Source link Ray Liotta, Star of “Goodfellas” and “Field of Dreams” dies

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