'Goodfellas,' 'Field of Dreams' star Ray Liotta dead at 67

Kate Feldman, New York Daily News on

Published in Entertainment News

“Field of Dreams,” the Kevin Costner-starring flick about a farmer who builds a baseball field in his backyard to attract ghosts of MLB’s past, is widely regarded as one of the best sports movies. Liotta played Shoeless Joe Jackson, who brings his Chicago Black Sox teammates out for one more ball game.

Liotta’s current project, “Dangerous Waters,” co-stars Odeya Rush, Eric Dane and Saffron Burrows in the story of a “sailing holiday that spirals out of control when a teenage daughter (Rush) uncovers the dark past of her mother’s new boyfriend.”

He also recently wrapped the Elizabeth Banks-directed “Cocaine Bear,” inspired by the true story of an American black bear that ingested a duffel bag full of cocaine in 1985. The movie, co-starring Keri Russell, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Alden Ehrenreich, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Margo Martindale, is due out in February.

In 2005, he won a Primetime Emmy Award for a guest role on the NBC medical drama “ER” as an alcoholic ex-con trying to make amends with his estranged son while the doctors try to save his life.

“The Many Saints of Newark,” released in 2021, gave Liotta another mob role — actually two, twin brothers “Hollywood Dick” Moltisanti and Salvatore “Sally” Moltisanti.

“This is a massive, unexpected shock,” David Chase, creator of “The Sopranos” and screenwriter/producer of “Many Saints,” told The News. “I have been an admirer of Ray’s work since I saw him in ‘Something Wild,’ a movie he wrenched by the tail. 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.”

Another big Liotta fan was Jennifer Lopez, who starred with him on the NBC cop drama “Shades of Blue” from 2016-18.

“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,” Lopez wrote on Instagram, sharing photos of the two together. “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.”

Liotta is survived by his daughter, Karen, and his fiancee.


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