Ray Liotta remembered by ‘Goodfellas’ director Martin Scorsese in touching tribute
Tributes are pouring in for Ray Liotta, who was widely known for his role as Henry Hill in the legendary Martin Scorsese crime film, “Goodfellas.” Liotta died at age 67, Fox News Digital confirmed.
Some of his co-stars in the 1990 crime drama, as well as other peers in Hollywood, are honoring the late actor.
“God is a Goodfella and so is Ray,” actor Joe Pesci, who played Tommy DeVito, told Fox News Digital.
Ray Liotta, widely known for his role in the legendary Martin Scorsese crime film "Goodfellas," has died. He was 67.
(Phillip Faraone/Getty Images)
Another “Goodfellas” co-star, Robert De Niro, shared, “I was very saddened to learn of Ray’s passing. He is way too way young to have left us. May he rest in peace.”
‘GOODFELLAS’ STAR RAY LIOTTA DEAD AT 67
Martin Scorsese, the “Goodfellas” director, shared with Fox News Digital that he is “absolutely shocked and devastated” by Liotta’s passing.
“I’m absolutely shocked and devastated by the sudden, unexpected death of Ray Liotta,” Scorsese shared. “He was so uniquely gifted, so adventurous, so courageous as an actor. Playing Henry Hill in Good Fellas was a tall order, because the character had so many different facets, so many complicated layers, and Ray was in almost every scene of a long, tough shoot. He absolutely amazed me, and I’ll always be proud of the work we did together on that picture.”
“He absolutely amazed me, and I’ll always be proud of the work we did together on that picture.”
— Martin Scorsese on working with Ray Liotta on ‘Goodfellas’
Jamie Lee Curtis, who starred alongside Liotta in “Dominick & Eugene,” took to Instagram Thursday and wrote, “Ray Liotta has died. What a gentle human. His work as an actor showed his complexity as a human. A beautiful artist. We made the lovely film, Dominic and Eugene in 1986. Sad news.”
View this post on Instagram
Lorraine Bracco, who starred as Karen Hill in “Goodfellas,” shared an image with Liotta on Instagram and wrote, “I am utterly shattered to hear this terrible news about my Ray.
Robert De Niro shared his condolences for his co-star Ray Liotta to Fox News Digital following the news of his passing.
“I can be just about anywhere in the world and people will come up and tell me their favorite movie is Goodfellas. And then they always ask what was the best part of making that movie. And my response has always been the same…Ray Liotta.”
RAY LIOTTA REVEALS ‘BRUTAL’ AUDITION PROCESS FOR ‘GOODFELLAS’
Jennifer Lopez also honored the star on Instagram. Her caption reads, “Ray was my partner in crime on Shades of Blue … the first thing that comes to mind is he was so kind to my children.
View this post on Instagram
“Ray was the epitome of a tough guy who was all mushy on the inside … I guess that’s what made him such a compelling actor to watch. The original Goodfella.”
Lopez and Liotta starred in the three-season show “Shades of Blue,” and Lopez recalled being “thrilled” when she learned they would be working together.
Jennifer Lopez starred alongside Ray Liotta in the series "Shades of Blue."
(Peter Kramer/NBCU via Getty Images)
“We enjoyed doing our scenes together and I felt lucky to have him there to work with and learn from,” she wrote. “Like all artists he was complicated, sincere, honest and so very emotional. Like a raw nerve, he was so accessible and so in touch in his acting and I will always remember our time together fondly.”
Lopez concluded with, “We lost a great today … RIP RAY … it’s so sad to lose you what seems way too soon … I will remember you always. Sending so much love and strength to your daughter Karsen, your family and all your loved ones.”
RAY LIOTTA REVEALS WHY FRANK SINATRA’S DAUGHTERS MAILED HIM A HORSE HEAD
David Chase, the creator of “The Sopranos,” shared with Fox News Digital that Liotta’s passing is “a massive, unexpected shock.”
“I have been an admirer of Ray’s work since I saw him in ‘Something Wild,’ a movie he wrenched by the tail,” Chase said. “I was so glad he worked on ‘The Many Saints of Newark.’ I believed strongly in my heart that he could play that double role. He created two distinctly separate characters and each performance was phenomenal. Ray was also a very warm and humorous person. A really superior actor. We all felt we lucked out having him on that movie.”
Liotta stars in Apple TV’s “Black Bird” alongside Taron Egerton, which is set to be released July 8. Egerton took to Instagram, honoring his co-star and shared what it was like on set with the actor.
Ray Liotta has a project with Apple TV titled "Black Bird" that is set to be released on July 8.
(Angela Weiss / AFP)
“I stepped on the set of ‘Black Bird’ in May of last year deeply excited that I would be working with Ray Liotta and even more excited that he would be playing my father.”
Liotta plays the father role for Egerton’s character in the upcoming show.
“He was keeping himself to himself. Protecting his energy and his performance. I didn’t know how to approach him as I didn’t want to intrude.
“He caught my eye and walked over to me and hugged me without saying a word. It was a long hug. But not uncomfortable. We only spoke to each other in character for that first day. I took my lead from him. I think he wanted us to be a father and son before we were colleagues.”
STARS IN DISBELIEF OVER ALEC BALDWIN FATAL PROP GUN SHOOTING: ‘MISMANAGED SET’
His tribute concluded with: “I am extraordinarily proud of my next project. It was hard work and I was blessed to have a number of incredible scene partners, but I will always be most proud of my scenes with Ray; the relationship we built felt real in some strange way.
“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. His response was: ‘you made it easy to love my son.’ Ray, the feeling was so, so mutual. I will miss you.”
Robert De Niro, Lorraine Bracco and Ray Liotta starred in the 1990 crime drama "Goodfellas." Bracco took to social media Thursday to honor the late actor.
The actor died in his sleep in the Dominican Republic, where he was filming the movie “Dangerous Waters.”
According to TMZ, foul play is not suspected.
Recognized for his captivating presence, Liotta sharpened his acting skill as a drama major at the University of Miami, where he landed his first role in “Cabaret” as a dancing waiter who was loose on his feet.
CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT NEWSLETTER
After completing four years of college, Liotta moved to New York City and bounced around various office jobs while carrying on regular soap opera roles before he was eventually cast in “Something Wild.”
Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Paul Sorvino and Joe Pesci in "Goodfellas," 1990. Pesci shared with Fox News Digital that "God is a Goodfella and so is Ray."
(Warner Brothers/Getty Images)
It was then that Liotta came into his own as a performer, perfecting his gaze, which often spoke volumes louder than the lines he effortlessly delivered.
Liotta had recently gotten back into mainstream acting with “The Many Saints of Newark” and was also a staple alongside Taron Egerton in the Apple TV+ series “Black Bird.”
Other notable films of Liotta’s include “Field of Dreams,” “Cop Land” and “Blow.”
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
The actor was engaged to be married to Jacy Nittolo. He is survived by Nittolo and his daughter Karsen.
Fox News’ Julius Young and Larry Fink contributed to this report.