Acclaimed director Martin Scorsese remembered his pal and “Goodfellas” star Ray Liotta following his premature death.
Liotta passed away in his sleep attributable to unknown causes Wednesday evening while filming a movie within the Dominican Republic. He was 67.
The “Gangs of Recent York” filmmaker, 79, shared a touching statement with People on Thursday, noting: “I’m absolutely shocked and devastated by the sudden, unexpected death of Ray Liotta. He was so uniquely gifted, so adventurous, so courageous as an actor.”
The Recent Jersey native died in his sleep on May 25 while shooting a movie within the Dominican Republic.AP
“Playing Henry Hill in ‘Goodfellas’ was a tall order, since the character had so many alternative facets, so many complicated layers, and Ray was in almost every scene of a protracted, tough shoot,” he continued. “He absolutely amazed me, and I’ll all the time be pleased with the work we did together on that picture. My heart goes out to his family members, and it aches for his loss, way too early.”
The “Corina, Corina” actor’s “Goodfellas” costar Robert De Niro told The Post Thursday regarding his death: “I used to be very saddened to learn of Ray’s passing. He’s way too young to have left us. May he Rest in Peace.”
“[Liotta] was so uniquely gifted, so adventurous, so courageous as an actor,” the “Aviator” director said in an announcement. Getty Images
Liotta starred in high-profile projects comparable to “Shades of Blue,” “Field of Dreams” and “Hannibal.”AP
His other “Goodfellas” costar and “Sopranos” alum Lorraine Bracco also penned a moving tribute to her friend on Twitter Thursday.
“I’m utterly shattered to listen to this terrible news about my Ray,” she wrote. “I may be anywhere on this planet & people will come up & tell me their favorite movie is Goodfellas. Then they all the time ask what was the most effective part of creating that movie. My response has all the time been the identical…Ray Liotta.”
Liotta was survived by his fiancée, Jacy Nittolo, 46, and his daughter Karsen, 23.
While the Recent Jersey native was known for enjoying a mobster in Scorsese’s 1990 drama and the 2021 “Sopranos” prequel “The Many Saints of Newark,” the “Shades of Blue” star was afraid to be typecast as a mafioso shortly after “Goodfellas” premiered.
He also turned down the role of Ralphie, played by Joe Pantoliano, within the 1999 HBO crime series.
He explained in an interview with the Guardian last September that he was approached by the “Sopranos” creator David Chase to play a special character.
Ray Liotta and Martin Scorcese attend the screening of “Goodfellas” on September 17, 1990, in Westwood, California. Ron Galella Collection via Getty
“No! I don’t know where that story got here from,” Liotta said concerning the idea he was offered the role of Tony Soprano. “David once talked to me about playing Ralphie. But never Tony.”
“I didn’t need to do one other mafia thing, and I used to be shooting ‘Hannibal.’ It just didn’t feel right on the time,” he said.