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Ray Liotta

Ray Liotta

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: December 18, 1954 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Newark, New Jersey, USA Profession: actor, graveyard groundskeeper, bartender

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Despite an inauspicious start on a daytime soap opera, actor Ray Liotta slowly developed into a well-respected star, thanks to roles in acclaimed films like "Something Wild" (1986), "Goodfellas" (1990) and "Narc" (2002). Though not an A-list talent who could command a $20 million salary and guarantee a record-breaking weekend, Liotta nonetheless carved out a niche playing morally conflicted cops and psychopathic villains, though he struggled to attract audiences when he vied for their attention with lighter roles in films like "Corrina, Corrina" (1994) and "Heartbreakers" (2001). While he did make his share of big budget Hollywood fare for better - "Field of Dreams" (1989) - or worse - "Wild Hogs" (2007) - he always seemed better suited in the independent world, where he shined in "Copland" (1997) and "Smokin' Aces" (2006), making Liotta one of the more dependable and revered actors of his generation.

Despite an inauspicious start on a daytime soap opera, actor Ray Liotta slowly developed into a well-respected star, thanks to roles in acclaimed films like "Something Wild" (1986), "Goodfellas" (1990) and "Narc" (2002). Though not an A-list talent who could command a $20 million salary and guarantee a record-breaking weekend, Liotta nonetheless carved out a niche playing morally conflicted cops and psychopathic villains, though he struggled to attract audiences when he vied for their attention with lighter roles in films like "Corrina, Corrina" (1994) and "Heartbreakers" (2001). While he did make his share of big budget Hollywood fare for better - "Field of Dreams" (1989) - or worse - "Wild Hogs" (2007) - he always seemed better suited in the independent world, where he shined in "Copland" (1997) and "Smokin' Aces" (2006), making Liotta one of the more dependable and revered actors of his generation.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Alone (2015)
4.
5.
6.
 Identical, The (2014)
7.
 Flock of Dudes (2014)
8.
 Pawn (2013)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Spent first six months of life in an orphanage in New Jersey
1978:
Worked as bartender for Shubert Organization theaters in New York
1978:
Professional acting debut, walking in a park with a girl in commercial for K-tel Records' "Love Songs of the 50s"
1978:
Made TV acting debut as Joey Perrini on NBC daytime soap "Another World"
1980:
Made primetime TV-movie debut in "Hardhat and Legs" (CBS)
1982:
Moved to Los Angeles, CA
1983:
Cast as a regular on short-lived NBC drama "Casablanca"
1983:
Made feature debut as Joe Heron in "The Lonely Lady," starring Pia Zadora
1985:
Played supporting part in the ABC drama series "Our Family Honor"
1986:
Breakthrough screen role, as violent ex-convict Ray Sinclair in "Something Wild"
1987:
Appeared in short subject "Arena Brains"
1988:
First feature lead, co-starred with Tom Hulce as "Dominick and Eugene"
1989:
Portrayed Shoeless Joe Jackson in "Field of Dreams"
1990:
Starred as Irish gangster Henry Hill in Martin Scorsese's "GoodFellas"
1992:
Delivered terrific performance as a lonely LAPD officer in Jonathan Kaplan's urban paranoia thriller "Unlawful Entry"
1994:
Acted opposite Whoopi Goldberg in "Corrina, Corrina"
1997:
Played serial killer Ryan Weaver in "Turbulence"
1997:
Won praise for his performance as a policeman struggling with his conscience in "Cop Land"
1998:
Starred opposite Anjelica Huston in "Phoenix"
1998:
Portrayed Frank Sinatra in HBO movie "The Rat Pack"
2000:
Appeared as the distant father of a troubled young boy in "A Rumor of Angels"; screened at Seattle and Toronto
2001:
Co-starred as a Justice Department official in "Hannibal"
2001:
Cast as the father of drug dealer George Jung (Johnny Depp) in "Blow"
2002:
Played a fire investigator in HBO drama "Point of Origin"
2002:
Delivered a strong turn as a volatile cop in the Sundance-screened "Narc"
2003:
Cast in the ensemble thriller "Identity"; reunited with "Cop Land" director James Mangold
2004:
Appeared in Broadway production of "Match"
2004:
Delivered Emmy nominated guest starring role as an alcoholic suffering from withdrawal symptoms on first real-time "ER" (NBC) episode
2005:
Co-starred in "Revolver," written and directed by Guy Ritchie
2006:
Cast as a master thief on the short-lived CBS series "Smith"
2007:
Co-starred in the action-comedy "Smokin' Aces," directed by Joe Carnahan
2007:
Played a district attorney opposite LL Cool J in "Slow Burn"
2009:
Appeared with Harrison Ford in "Crossing Over," about illegal immigrants in Los Angeles
2009:
Co-starred with Seth Rogen in the mall cop comedy "Observe and Report"
2010:
Co-starred with Michael Cera and Jean Smart in the film adaptation of C.D. Payne's "Youth in Revolt"
2010:
Appeared opposite Zac Efron in "Charlie St. Cloud," about a young man coming to terms with the death of his younger brother
2011:
Cast in "The Son of No One," co-starring Al Pacino, Channing Tatum, and Juliette Binoche
2012:
Co-starred with Brad Pitt in crime drama "Killing Them Softly," a feature adaptation of George V. Higgins' novel <i>Cogan's Trade</i>
2012:
Cast opposite Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes in "The Place Beyond the Pines"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Union High School: Union , New Jersey - 1973
University of Miami: Miami , Florida - 1978

Notes

Some sources list 1955 as Mr. Liotta's birth year.

"I'll tell you what keeps me grounded--my buddies. I still pal around with the same guys I went to kindergarten with. They treat me the same now as they did then. I can't get no respect.

"Although there is one thing they appreciate. They'll say, 'Let's bring Ray. Then we'll get a limo and the best table in the restaurant.'" --Ray Liotta to Daily News, February 18, 1996.

"That element of danger--the idea that he could blow at any minute--is tremendously appealing." --Jonathan Kaplan commenting on Liotta to Us, March 1996.

"Marty [Scorsese] didn't want me to meet him [Henry Hill] while we were working on the movie. We were taking artistic liberties with his character. But I met him later out here. It turned out I knew somebody who worked in a bar who knew Henry's brother. Then Henry Hill called and wanted to meet me. In a bowling alley. So I went, and we met. It was like a movie." --Liotta quoted in Parade Magazine, March 31, 1996.

"You'd be surprised how little camaraderie there is on a movie set. I just finished a movie called 'Phoenix' with Anthony LaPaglia, Jeremy Piven and Anjelica Huston, and it was one of the best experiences I've had, in terms of hanging out together and having fun. But, on 'Cop Land', the only person I did any hanging with was Sly, because we had so many scenes together and we liked each other. Everybody else kind of went off into their trailers." --Ray Liotta to The Chicago Tribune, August 28, 1997.

"Acting came to me at the right time in my life and I have been blessed by being able to do it for all these years."-Liotta Movieline December/January 2003

"I'd do a film like "GoodFellas" and then all I'd be offered was crazies. I kept turning them down because I didn't want to get typecast. I was a schmuck, I guess."-Liotta Movieline December/January 2003

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Heidi Von Beltz. Former championship skier, stunt actor. Dated 1982-83; was paralyzed while working as Farrah Fawcett's stunt double in "The Cannonball Run" (1980).
wife:
Michelle Grace. Producer, former model. Born c. 1960; divorced from professional baseball player Mark Grace; married in February 1997; mother of Karsen.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Alfred Liotta. Automotive parts store owner. Adopted Ray when he was 6 months old; also served as president of local Democratic club; unsuccessfully ran for local office when Liotta was in junior high.
mother:
Mary Liotta. Adoptive parent; appointed township clerk; also unsuccessfully ran for local office; died 1989.
sister:
Linda Liotta. Adopted by Liotta's parents when he was three.
daughter:
Karsen Liotta. Born on December 21, 1998; mother, Michelle Grace.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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