Scorsese and Di Niro pay tribute to late Goodfellas actor


Director Martin Scorsese with Goodfellas stars Lorraine Bracco and Ray Liotta in 2012

Hollywood director Martin Scorsese and actor Robert De Niro led tributes to Goodfellas star Ray Liotta, who died in his sleep this week at the age of 67.

Scorsese, who directed both in 1990’s gangster crime, called Liotta a “uniquely gifted” and “brave” performer.

The late actor is best known for his portrayal of gangster Henry Hill in the film, opposite De Niro and Joe Pesci.

Di Niro said: “I was very saddened to learn of Ray’s passing.”

“He is far too young to have left us,” he added in a statement shared with US media.

Liotta died in his sleep in the Dominican Republic at the age of 67, it was confirmed on Thursday.

The American star was on hand to shoot the film Dangerous Waters, his publicist Jennifer Allen said.

His fiancée Jacy Nittolo was at the scene when he died, Ms Allen added.

Ray Liotta

Liotta, photographed in 1980

Scorsese said he was “absolutely shocked and devastated” by the news and would always be proud of their work together.

“Playing Henry Hill in Goodfellas was a huge challenge, because the character had so many different sides, so many complicated layers, and Ray was in almost every scene of a long and difficult shoot,” explained the filmmaker.

“He absolutely blew my mind, and I’ll always be proud of the work we did together in that picture.

“My heart goes out to his loved ones, and it hurts for his loss, all too soon.”

Lorraine Bracco, who played Karen Friedman Hill on Goodfellas, said she was “broken” to hear the news of her former co-stars’ deaths.

She shared a photo of the two of them on Twitter, saying being with him was the best part of making the movie.

Although best known for Goodfellas, Liotta also appeared in Field of Dreams.

He got his big break playing ex-con Ray Sinclair in the 1986 dark comedy Something Wild, earning a Golden Globe nomination for the role, before starring in the 1988 film Dominick and Eugene, about the strained relationship between twins with very different characters.

batman regrets

In the 90s, he starred in Unlawful Entry, Cop Land and Corrina, Corrina with Whoopi Goldberg.

Last year he starred in the Sopranos prequel movie The Many Saints of Newarkhaving turned down a role in the original series.

The New Jersey-born actor said in 2016 that he regretted turning down an audition for Tim Burton’s Batman movie.

“When I did my first movie, Tim Burton was getting ready to do Batman and he was interested in me because he wanted it to be edgy and real.

“I was like, ‘Batman? That’s a stupid idea,’ even though he had just done one of my all-time favorite movies, Beetlejuice. So yeah, I regret not auditioning for that. ‘.”

He also played lawyer Jay Marotta in the critically acclaimed 2019 film Marriage Story, which starred Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson as a couple whose relationship was falling apart. Laura Dern won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as a lawyer in the film.

The actor had recently wrapped work on the 2023 film The Cocaine Bear, directed by Elizabeth Banks.

Liotta also narrated the documentary series The Making Of The Mob and appeared in several music videos, including David Guetta’s song Lovers On The Sun.

Liotta is survived by his daughter Karsen, whom he shares with ex-wife Michelle Grace, and his fiancée.