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How Old Was Ray Liotta in Goodfellas?
Ray Liotta, known for his depictions of charismatic, wounded characters in films such as Goodfellas and The Many Saints of Newark, died at the age of 67. He died in his sleep while filming Dangerous Waters in the Dominican Republic, according to sources.
The cause of death has not yet been revealed to the public. His fiancée Jacy Nittolo and daughter Karsen, who is also an actress, survive him. Liotta gained prominence in 1990 as gangster Henry Hill in Martin Scorsese’s cult Mafia film, whose screenplay is based on crime reporter Nicholas Pileggi’s Wiseguy.
Henry Hill is a severely flawed yet endearing figure, a rising mobster who is blissfully unaware of the devastation he is wreaking. When his rise to the top is disrupted by a spiraling drug addiction, his success comes crashing down around him, big time.
Liotta’s big break was playing Henry Hill, but it almost didn’t happen. Though he’d had a few roles prior to starring in Goodfellas (for a trip down memory lane, check out 1989’s Field Of Dreams or 1986’s Something Wild), Henry Hill was the role that cemented Liotta’s place in Hollywood.
When he approached the director and co-writer Martin Scorsese about the job, it was Liotta’s approach to dealing with the danger that sealed the deal. “I’d seen Ray in Something Wild, Jonathan Demme’s picture; I really liked him,” Scorsese said in an interview with GQ.
After that, I met him. I was walking across the foyer of the Venice Film Festival hotel on the Lido, and I was carrying The Last Temptation of Christ. I was surrounded by a swarm of bodyguards.” “He kept his ground, but made them understand he was no threat,” Scorsese said of the young actor’s reaction to the scenario. I noticed his behavior at the time and thought, Oh, he understands that kind of situation. That’s not anything you’d have to explain to him.”
Shortly after, casting conversations began, and producer Irvin Winkle had misgivings about casting Liotta. “Marty [Scorsese] wanted Ray very much,” Winkler remembers for GQ. To be honest, I thought we could do much better and kept putting him off by saying, “Let’s keep looking.”
Ray Liotta Was How Old In Goodfellas?
In the spring and summer of 1989, Goodfellas was shot on location in Queens, New York, New Jersey, and sections of Long Island. The character of Henry Hill is based on the true biography of a mobster of the same name who worked for the Mafia from 1955 to 1980.
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The real Hill, like Liotta’s character in the film, joined at the age of 14 and worked his way up the ranks by completing odd jobs for his superiors. He began by collecting up money for his supervisor, Paul Vari, but his actions progressed to arson, credit card fraud, and even assault. Hill eventually joined the Witness Protection Program in 1980, after his life and Mafia career had spiraled out of control.
The younger version of Hill is played by actor Christopher Serrone, who was 13 at the time, but Liotta takes over the part soon after, as Hill becomes a young man. Liotta was 34 years old when he began filming Goodfellas, and he turned 35 in December 1989. (his birthday was 18 December).
For an actor his age, Liotta displayed remarkable variety, restraint, and comprehension of the complexities of his role. On the 20th anniversary of the film, he told GQ that he had always wanted to play Henry Hill. “I guess I was the first person that Marty met” Liotta recalls, “although it took maybe a year.
eum osekute oseumo oseumo oseumo. I was brand new. I’d only made three films at the time. All I heard was that the studio was looking for someone else—”How about this?” “And how about Eddie Murphy?” Friends, colleagues, and fans are mourning the actor’s untimely demise.
As word of Liotta’s untimely passing at the age of 67 spreads like a shockwave throughout the business, friends, colleagues, and fans alike pay tribute to him with condolence letters. Martin Scorsese, the director, remembers Liotta as “so wonderfully skilled, so adventurous, so courageous as an actor.”
He considered Henry Hill’s job to be “a difficult order, because the character had so many different facets, so many complicated layers, and Ray was in practically every scene of a lengthy, tough production.” “He totally amazed me,” said Scorsese, “and I’ll always be pleased with the job we did together on that film.”