Goodfellas star Ray Liotta dies in his sleep in Dominican Republic aged 67

Liotta was in the Caribbean recording Dangerous Waters, a film about a sailing holiday that spirals out of control. Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Ray Liotta, the actor who is best known for his leading role in the 1990 Martin Scorsese crime classic Goodfellas, has died in his sleep at the age of 67.

Liotta died in the Dominican Republic, where he was recording Dangerous Waters, a film about a sailing holiday that spirals out of control, his publicist Jennifer Allen said.

He leaves behind his fiancé, Jacy Nittolo, and daughter, Karsen, whom he shares with his ex-wife Michelle Grace.

Liotta found fame playing ex-con Ray Sinclair in 1986 black comedy Something Wild, for which he received a Golden Globe nomination.

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He went on to star as Shoeless Joe Jackson in the 1989 film Field Of Dreams and is best known for his portrayal of Henry Hill in Goodfellas.

Liotta was the adopted son of a town clerk and auto-parts shop owner, who insisted he never contemplated acting while growing up in Newark, New Jersey.

He moved to New York City after graduating and worked as a barman until he was cast in soap opera Another World in 1980.

After his role in Something Wild, Liotta resisted the countless psychopathic roles he was offered following the film’s success, and instead starred in the acclaimed drama Dominick And Eugene, about a complex relationship between twin brothers.

During the 1990s Liotta starred in Unlawful Entry, Cop Land and Corrina alongside Whoopi Goldberg.

Ray Liotta and Jacy Nittolo in September 2021. Credit: Greg Allen/Invision/AP

In 2016 he talked about regrets he had in the way he handled his career, including turning down the chance to audition for Tim Burton’s Batman movie.

“I wish I’d handled my career differently but, you know, hindsight …” he said at the time.

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

Liotta enjoyed a varied career, also appearing as Frank Sinatra in the 1998 TV movie The Rat Pack.

In 2004, he made his Broadway debut in dramatic comedy Match.

In recent years Liotta appeared in Marriage Story and No Sudden Move and starred alongside Taron Egerton in the upcoming Apple TV series Black Bird.

In 2021, he starred in the Sopranos prequel movie The Many Saints Of Newark, after turning down a role in the original film.

He recently finished filming The Cocaine Bear, a film directed by Elizabeth Banks which is scheduled to be released in February next year.

The New Jersey-born actor was also reportedly due to star in The Substance alongside Demi Moore and Margaret Qualley.

In addition to his acting roles, Liotta was also the narrator of documentary series The Making Of The Mob, and starred in a number of music videos including for David Guetta’s song Lovers On The Sun.