He was only 67 years old… American actor Ray Liotta died on Thursday, May 26. Revealed by “Les Affranchis”, he had amazed moviegoers in “Narc”, “Hannibal” or even “Copland”.
If there were to remain only one role, it would undoubtedly be that of Henry Hill, the gangster of Freedmen. But Ray Liotta is not the actor of a film, his talent bursts in dozens of feature films and a handful of series… The actor died in this sleep on the night of May 25 to 26, 2022, while he was on the set of a new movie in the Dominican Republic. The causes of his death have not been revealed. He was 67 years old.
New jersey kid
Raymond Allen Liotta, known as Ray, was born in New Jersey and was adopted six months later by a couple of fervent Democrats. After high school, he went to study comedy at the University of Miami, where he became friends with the actor Steven Bauer. Some time later, he made his television debut in the soap opera Another World in which he played from 1978 to 1981. He then appeared in a few short series and TV movies before taking his first steps in the cinema with The Lonely Lady (1983). It was in 1986, on the recommendation of Melanie Griffith (then married to Steven Bauer), that he plays alongside the actress his first major role, that of a psychopathic husband, in Dangerous in all respects which earned him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Scorsese and DeNiro
However, he truly achieved consecration in 1990 with Freedmen of Martin Scorsesecult mafia film in which he embodies the gangster Henry Hill, thus appearing as the worthy successor of Robert DeNiro who plays his mentor in the film. Subsequently, Ray Liotta specializes in thrillers. He plays, for example, a disreputable cop in Fatal obsession (1992) by Jonathan Kaplana medical examiner searching for his wife’s murderer in Suspicious memories (1996) by John Dahla drug-addicted policeman in Copland (1997) by James Mangold (which allows him to find Robert DeNiro), or even an ambiguous FBI agent in Hannibal (2001) by Ridley Scott. In 2002, he produced, through his company Tiara Blu Films, Narca nerve thriller signed Joe Carnahan in which he plays a narcotics officer with expeditious methods. The following year, he takes on the role of a troubled cop in the labyrinthine thriller Identity in which he is again led by James Mangoldbefore continuing with a series of films with limited success that did not leave the American market.
Second knife but thin blade
Apart from his interpretation of the hero of the science fiction film Absolom 2022 in 1994 (a bitter failure at the box office), the actor was mainly confined to the roles of outstanding second knives and, as a result, chained projects by alternating genres. At ease in thrillers, he is just as comfortable in light comedies: widowed father in family comedy Corrina, Corrina (1994), Rich Man Tricked By Sigourney Weaver in Poisonous beauties in 2001, biker who has to face John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, Tim Allen and William H. Macy in Band of savages (2007), or even gangster in the crazy crazy night (2010).
Facing Jason Statham
In 2004, Ray Liotta appeared in an episode of the eleventh season ofEmergency room, Time of Death, which tracks the last hour of his character’s life in real time. For this role, he won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series. After this distinction, he is back at the top of the bill at the cinema thanks to Guy Ritchie who entrusts him with the role of a high-flying crook struggling with his lifelong rival played by Jason Statham for the needs of Revolver (2005), and the following year he found Joe Carnahan for the explosive Mi$e at price. Also in 2006, he returned to television taking the lead role in the series Smith Folder which only lasts for 7 episodes. In 2010, Ray Liotta joined Harrison Ford in Right of way, a crime drama centered on illegal immigration which, like many of his films, was a box office failure. As usual, he continues to chain minor films intended for the DVD market (The Line, Missed route), which does not prevent him from appearing in quality productions. Thus, in 2012, he was part of the cast of the film in official competition at the Cannes Film Festival which stars brad pitt (Killing Them Softly), and gave, the same year, the reply to bradley cooper for thriller purposes The Place Beyond The Pines.
A duet with J-Lo
After a passage in front of the camera of Nick Cassavetes in YellowRay continues the thrillers with moderate success – The devil himself, pawn, The Iceman … Then he varies the genres. It is found in the rom com Prescription Blondein comedy Operation Muppets or in the musical drama inspired by the life of the King, The Identical. Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller offer him an appearance in Sin City 2. In 2014, he starred in State secreta film acclaimed by critics and led by the excellent Jeremy Renner (Minesweepers, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol). His performance in the mini-series Texas Rising earned him a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination. After a self-deprecating detour through Modern Familyhe is chosen to give the cue to Jennifer Lopez in Shades of Blue, a new NBC series launched in January 2016. This is his first major role in a few years. His corrupt cop character, Lt. Matt Wozniak, is the target of an FBI investigation.
The Goodfellas trailer: