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Look back at Goodfellas star Ray Liotta’s extraordinary life as he passes away at age 67

The news of Goodfellas star Ray Liotta’s sudden death today sent shockwaves through Hollywood – prompting an outpouring of tributes from stars around the world, including several of his surviving co-stars from the gangster movie that shot him to stardom. 

But while Liotta, who passed away in his sleep in a hotel in the Dominican Republic, is best remembered for his work on the big screen and his dominance of the mob movie genre, behind the scenes, his life was as dramatic and, at times, tragic, as many of the characters he portrayed.  

The legendary actor – who is best known for playing mob leader Henry Hill in Goodfellas – passed away in bed on Thursday on the Caribbean island of Zona Colonial.

He was in the midst of filmign the upcoming flick Dangerous Waters, which is being directed by John Barr and is also set to star Eric Dane, Odeya Rush, and Saffron Burrows.

An emergency service team reportedly rushed to the building, but he could not be saved; his body was transferred to the forensic institute of Santo Domingo and there is no suspicion of foul play. 

In the wake of his sudden passing, FEMAIL has taken a look back at his impressive career – including how he overcame tragedy to become a global superstar. 

The legendary actor - who is most known for playing mob leader Henry Hill in Goodfellas - has tragically died in his sleep at a hotel in the Dominican Republic at age 67 - where he was filming a new movie. He is pictured in Goodfellas

The legendary actor – who is most known for playing mob leader Henry Hill in Goodfellas – has tragically died in his sleep at a hotel in the Dominican Republic at age 67 – where he was filming a new movie. He is pictured in Goodfellas

In the wake of his sudden passing, FEMAIL has taken a look back at his impressive career - including how he overcame tragedy to become a global superstar. He is pictured in October

In the wake of his sudden passing, FEMAIL has taken a look back at his impressive career – including how he overcame tragedy to become a global superstar. He is pictured in October

Liotta, who has a grand list of more than 120 acting credits, was left at an orphanage by his mother when he was a baby. 

He was adopted at age six by a New Jersey couple, and for decades he struggled to come to terms with the fact that his biological mother had given him up.

Decades later, with the help of his ex-wife, Michelle Grace, the star was able to find and reunite with his birth mom, however, he later called their meet up ‘disappointing,’ adding, ‘Thank God I was adopted.’

Liotta faced heartbreak once again while making the 1990 gangster movie Goodfellas – when his adoptive mother died of cancer while he was holding her in his arms, having raced from the set of the movie to see her once more before she passed away.

However, despite being plagued with tribulation in his family life, the star flourished in his career – landing a huge array of roles throughout his decades-long profession as an actor.

He was also able to find love late in life, falling for a former hairstylist named Jacy Nittolo, 46, during the pandemic, whom he was gearing up to marry before his tragic death.

A spokesman for the Dominican Republic’s General Direction of Cinema confirmed the news, stating: ‘We understand that he was accompanied by his [fiancée] and that the [fiancée] asks that you please respect her grief.’ 

The actor had been spotted out and about in Los Angeles back in March, where onlookers told DailyMail.com exclusively that he appeared ‘noticeably pale’ and ‘needed help from the valet putting on his jacket.’ 

The source added that he was ‘slow and steady on his feet,’ and that Nittolo had to help him by carrying all his bags from the car to the hotel. 

But the acclaimed movie star looked healthier in pictures taken at the start of this month, as he strolled through Pacific Palisades with his fiancée. 

From how having a crush on a cute girl inspired him to get into acting to how he prevailed despite being abandoned by his birth mom as a baby and his adoptive mother dying in his arms – FEMAIL has recapped Liotta’s extraordinary life.

Ray Liotta’s childhood: How being abandoned by his mom as a baby plagued him for years to come

Liotta was born in New Jersey, on December 18, 1954. His mother left him at an orphanage as a baby, and he was adopted at the age of six by couple named Mary and Alfred Liotta. He is pictured with his adoptive father and sister

Liotta was born in New Jersey, on December 18, 1954. His mother left him at an orphanage as a baby, and he was adopted at the age of six by couple named Mary and Alfred Liotta. He is pictured with his adoptive father and sister

Liotta was born in Newark, New Jersey, on December 18, 1954. His mother left him at an orphanage as a baby, and he was adopted at the age of six by a Scottish township clerk and an Italian auto-parts store owner named Mary and Alfred Liotta. His sister, Linda, was also adopted.

Throughout his childhood, both of Liotta’s parents ran for local office but neither of them won. 

He previously told NJ.com that he spent most of his time as a kid playing sports – including basketball, baseball, and football – and ‘pretend games’ like ‘army.’

Decades later, with the help of his ex-wife, Michelle Grace, the star was able to find and reunite with his birth mom, however, he later called their meet up'disappointing,' adding,'Thank God I was adopted.' He is pictured in 2012

Decades later, with the help of his ex-wife, Michelle Grace, the star was able to find and reunite with his birth mom, however, he later called their meet up ‘disappointing,’ adding, ‘Thank God I was adopted.’ He is pictured in 2012 

He was brought up as Catholic but later said he didn’t consider himself religious, since he remembered church as being a ‘scary place.’

‘We did go to church, we were not raised in a strict home. We went to church every Sunday but we had a horrible priest,’ he told the Christian Post in 2014. 

‘I was brought up Catholic and [the priest] was just scary, [church] was just so heavy and scary. [He] gave me this huge fear of death … I’d definitely say I’m much more spiritual than religious.’

In a separate 2014 interview, however, he admitted that he ‘still prays.’

‘To this day, I still pray. Some days, you’ll listen to a bunch of scientists on some television show, and say, “There’s no way someone just said boom here it is.” But yet, I still believe there’s gotta be something. I don’t know, did we really just crawl out of the sea?’ he once told MovieGuide.org.

His adoptive father, who passed away in 2015, had a long lasting effect on him, with Liotta explaining to Esquire in 2016 that he taught him from a young age to not ‘sweat the small stuff.’

‘He had an expression, my old man – “What it mean to me?”‘ Liotta explained. ‘One of his stores was broken into a lot. It was happening like once or twice a month – calls in the middle of the night.

‘I went with him once and I said, “Dad, doesn’t this get you upset? Aren’t you tired of this?” He said, “What it mean to me? What am I going to do? This is where my store is, I like the store being here. Things happen.” He meant: “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” I try not to.’

Although he played many tough mobsters throughout his career, Liotta once admitted that he wasn’t much of a fighter in real life and that his only physical altercation was in seventh grade.

‘It was me and this kid, and for some reason he wanted to challenge me that the food in his grammar school was better than the food in my grammar school,’ he told the Today show of the fight. ‘We sort of just beat each other, like a couple girls.’

He graduated from Union High School in 1973, and went on to attend the University of Miami, where he studied acting and received a BFA in 1978. 

Liotta (pictured in 1980) explained in 2014 interview with Larry King that at first, he resented his mother for giving him up. But after finding her and hearing her reasons for leaving him at the orphanage, he understood why she did it

Liotta (pictured in 1980) explained in 2014 interview with Larry King that at first, he resented his mother for giving him up. But after finding her and hearing her reasons for leaving him at the orphanage, he understood why she did it

As for his biological father, he didn't know much about him. He told Esquire,'When I asked about what [nationality] my dad was, she wouldn't even talk about it. It was like it never even happened.' Liotta is pictured in 1990

As for his biological father, he didn’t know much about him. He told Esquire, ‘When I asked about what [nationality] my dad was, she wouldn’t even talk about it. It was like it never even happened.’ Liotta is pictured in 1990

During his time in college, he performed in musicals like Cabaret, Dames at Sea, Oklahoma, and Sound of Music.

As an adult, Liotta tracked down his biological mother with the help of his ex-wife Grace, who became  inspired after she watched an episode of Oprah that featured someone who’s job it was to locate lost family members. The locator, named Troy, was able to find his mother within a day. 

Liotta later told the Christian Post, ‘At the end of [the] show … there was this guy named Troy who was a locator and [my ex] called him without me knowing it and within a day he found out who my birth mother was.

‘The biggest thing that I got out of [our reunion] was, “Thank God I was adopted.”‘

He also told the Guardian that he was ‘disappointed’ when he finally met his mother, reiterating, ‘I was really grateful that I was adopted.’

In the process, he also found out he had a sister, as well as a half brother and five half-sisters. 

Liotta explained in 2014 interview with Larry King that at first, he resented his mother for giving him up. But after finding her and hearing her reasons for leaving him at the orphanage, he understood why she did it.

‘I used to wear being adopted on my sleeve, “How could you give up a kid,” that sort of thing, but realized when I met her that she had really valid reasons,’ he said.

‘I then realized that almost 99 per cent of kids that are put up for adoption, it’s for the betterment of the kid… The household, the situation, the age just dictate that’s the best thing to do for the child.’

Throughout his life, Liotta believed he was half Irish and half Italian, but he was stunned when he reconnected with his mom and found out he was actually of Scottish descent. 

As for his biological father, he didn’t know much about him. He told Esquire, ‘When I asked about what [nationality] my dad was, she wouldn’t even talk about it. It was like it never even happened.’

Getting his start: How a crush inspired him to become an actor, despite him admitting he had no interest in the profession

He may have gone on to become a huge actor, but at first, Liotta (pictured in 2016) had no interest in becoming an actor. It wasn't until he met a'really cute girl' in college that he decided to become a drama major for a chance to hit on her

He may have gone on to become a huge actor, but at first, Liotta (pictured in 2016) had no interest in becoming an actor. It wasn’t until he met a ‘really cute girl’ in college that he decided to become a drama major for a chance to hit on her

He may have gone on to become one of the biggest movie stars of all time, but at first, Liotta had no interest in becoming an actor.

He was more into sports, and it wasn’t until his drama teacher asked him to be in a school play that he decided to give it a try. 

According to the star, if he hadn't gone into acting, he would have been a construction worker. Liotta (pictured in 1989) explained to Esquire in 2016 that his dad wanted him to take over his automobile business

According to the star, if he hadn’t gone into acting, he would have been a construction worker. Liotta (pictured in 1989) explained to Esquire in 2016 that his dad wanted him to take over his automobile business

He told NJ.com, ‘I never wanted to be an actor. Basically I just played sports all the time. Basketball, baseball, football, you know, whatever the season was. 

‘But I remember senior year, basketball had stopped and the drama teacher asked me if I wanted to be in the play. So, alright, I’m not doing anything, I’m used to hanging around anyway, sure, I’ll be in the play.’

And even after appearing in the play, he still wasn’t drawn to the profession. But when he met a ‘really cute girl’ during college, who was in line to register for the drama department, he said he was inspired to switch majors.

‘I didn’t like [acting] at all. I didn’t like anything about it,’ he continued. ‘What happened afterward was, I went off to the University of Miami… I thought I’d stay a year, do liberal arts. 

‘But I looked at the requirements, and it sounded really hard. And then I looked over and right next to the liberal-arts department was the drama department. And there was this really cute girl in line to register…’

According to the star, if he hadn’t gone into acting, he would have been a construction worker. He explained to Esquire in 2016  that his dad wanted him to take over his automobile business, but he ‘hated’ that idea.

‘If I hadn’t have become an actor I’d have gone into construction. I always thought I would be doing construction. Those were jobs I had during the summer,’ he said.

‘My Dad also had a chain of automotive stores. I didn’t know until after I graduated college that he wanted me to take over the business. 

‘When he saw that I was interested in something else, he said, “Well, I’m sick of doing this,” and moved in politics. But I never knew that he wanted me to take over. It was in his mind, but I hated it. To this day I hate the smell of rubber.’

Mob movie supremo: How Ray Liotta found stardom by playing gangsters, and why he turned down major roles

One of his earliest roles was as Joey Perrini in the soap opera Another World, which he starred in from 1978 to 1981. He then moved to Los Angeles, California, so he could pursue his acting career even further. He is pictured in Goodfellas

One of his earliest roles was as Joey Perrini in the soap opera Another World, which he starred in from 1978 to 1981. He then moved to Los Angeles, California, so he could pursue his acting career even further. He is pictured in Goodfellas

He also starred in sports fantasy movie Field of Dreams in 1989, before he landed the role as mobster Henry in Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas in 1990 (pictured)

He also starred in sports fantasy movie Field of Dreams in 1989, before he landed the role as mobster Henry in Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas in 1990 (pictured)

He also starred in sports fantasy movie Field of Dreams in 1989, before he landed the role as mobster Henry in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas in 1990 (pictured)

He later opened up about playing the gangster to NJ.com, admitting that it was difficult for him to portray such a'violent person.' He said,'It can get to you. I'm not a violent person and to play someone like that, you try to put yourself in their head'

He later opened up about playing the gangster to NJ.com, admitting that it was difficult for him to portray such a ‘violent person.’ He said, ‘It can get to you. I’m not a violent person and to play someone like that, you try to put yourself in their head’

After finishing college, Liotta moved to New York City where he got a job as a bartender at the Shubert Organization; and within six months of working there, he landed an agent.

One of his earliest roles was as Joey Perrini in the soap opera Another World, which he starred in from 1978 to 1981. He then moved to Los Angeles, California, so he could pursue his acting career even further.

He made his film debut in 1983 in the flick The Lonely Lad, however, what was considered his first major movie role came in 1986 in Something Wild, which earned him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

He also starred in sports fantasy movie Field of Dreams in 1989, before he landed the role as mobster Henry in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas in 1990.

Goodfellas also starred Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco, and Paul Sorvino, and went on to become one of the most popular movies of its time.

It grossed $47 million in the box office, and was nominated for six Academy awards, with Pesci winning for Best Supporting Actor. 

He later opened up about playing the gangster to NJ.com, admitting that it was difficult for him to portray such a ‘violent person.’

‘When you’re doing it, you try and stay in it, and in that mood as much as possible,’ he said. ‘It can get to you. 

‘I’m not a violent person and to play someone like that, and try to put yourself in their head – I’ve done movies where at the end of the shoot, I’m definitely exhausted.’

After Goodfellas, he starred in a slew of big movies and TV shows including psychological thriller Unlawful Entry, sci-fi flick No Escape, 1997’s Cop Land, crime movie Phoenix, The Rat Pack (in which he played Frank Sinatra), TV drama ER (which earned him an Emmy), Hannibal (alongside Anthony Hopkins and Julianne Moore), horror movie Identity, Wild Hogs (opposite John Travolta), 2009 crime drama Crossing Over, The Son of No One (with Channing Tatum), Date Night (which also starred Steve Carell), Killing Them Softly in 2012, western miniseries Texas Rising, and Shades of Blue (alongside Jennifer Lopez), among others.

Despite appearing in more than 120 titles throughout his career, he admitted that he still didn't feel like he fit in with his fellow actors. He said in 2007,'I don't feel like I'm one of the guys. My personality is more mellow.' He is pictured in Goodfellas

Despite appearing in more than 120 titles throughout his career, he admitted that he still didn’t feel like he fit in with his fellow actors. He said in 2007, ‘I don’t feel like I’m one of the guys. My personality is more mellow.’ He is pictured in Goodfellas

After Goodfellas, he starred in a slew of big movies and TV shows including The Rat Pack (pictured) - in which he played Frank Sinatra - and Copland - which also starred Michael Rapaport and Harvey Keitel

After Goodfellas, he starred in a slew of big movies and TV shows including The Rat Pack - in which he played Frank Sinatra - and Copland (pictured) - which also starred Michael Rapaport and Harvey Keitel

After Goodfellas, he starred in a slew of big movies and TV shows including The Rat Pack (left) – in which he played Frank Sinatra – and Copland (right) – which also starred Michael Rapaport and Harvey Keitel

Some of his other roles included Unlawful Entry, No Escape, Phoenix, The Rat Pack, ER, Hannibal, Identity, Crossing Over, Date Night, Killing Them Softly (pictured), Rising, and Shades of Blue

Some of his other roles included Unlawful Entry, No Escape, Phoenix, The Rat Pack, ER, Hannibal, Identity, Crossing Over, Date Night, Killing Them Softly (pictured), Rising, and Shades of Blue

He also provided his voice for the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City in 2002, acted in the Broadway play Match in 2004, and narrated the AMC docu-series The Making of the Mob.

Ray Liotta starred in more than 80 movies in his five-decade career including:

  • 1983 The Lonely Lady Joe Heron
  • 1986 Something Wild Ray Sinclair
  • 1987 Arena Brains
  • 1988 Dominick and Eugene
  • 1989 Field of Dreams
  • 1990 Goodfellas
  • 1992 Article 99
  • 1994 No Escape
  • 1995 Operation Dumbo Drop
  • 1996 Unforgettable
  • 1997 Turbulence
  • 1998 Phoenix Detective
  • 1999 Muppets from Space Gate Guard, Forever Mine
  • 2000 Pilgrim Jack, A Rumor of Angels
  • 2001 Hannibal, Heartbreakers, Blow
  • 2002 Narc, John Q, Ticker
  • 2003 Identity
  • 2004 The Last Shot, Control
  • 2005 Revolver, Slow Burn
  • 2006 Even Money, Take the Lead, Local Color, Comeback Season, Smokin’ Aces
  • 2007 Wild Hogs, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, Battle in Seattle, Bee Movie
  • 2008 Hero Wanted, Powder Blue
  • 2009 Crossing Over, Observe and Report, La Linea, Youth in Revolt
  • 2010 Crazy on the Outside, Date Night, Snowmen, Chasing 3000, Charlie St. Cloud
  • 2011 The Details, The Son of No One, All Things Fall Apart, Street Kings 2: Motor City, The River Murders, Field of Dreams 2: Lockout, The Entitled
  • 2012 Wanderlust, Killing Them Softly, Breathless, The Iceman, The Place Beyond the Pines, Ticket Out, Yellow, Bad Karma, Dear Dracula
  • 2013 The Devil’s in the Details
  • 2014 Better Living Through Chemistry, Muppets Most Wanted, The Identical, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Revenge of the Green Dragons, Stretch
  • 2015 Blackway, Campus Code
  • 2016 Sticky Notes, Flock of Dudes
  • 2019 Marriage Story
  • 2020 Hubie Halloween
  • 2021 No Sudden Move, The Many Saints of Newark
  • 2022 Broken Soldier

Despite his major success, Liotta once spoke out about the struggles of being an actor, especially when he didn’t land a role that he auditioned for.

‘The business is rough, no matter where you’re at in your career,’ he told NJ.com. ‘There’s always some reason for them to say no to you – that part of it is horrible

‘But the job itself – making people believe that what they’re seeing is really happening – that’s still a challenge, putting that puzzle together. You know, what can I say, I still like playing pretend. And it’s sure a fun way to make a living.’

 He also addressed the public reception of his movies, calling it ‘really disappointing’ when something he starred in got a negative review.

‘It’s really disappointing because our business is not a meritocracy,’ he told the Guardian.

‘It doesn’t matter how well you do; it’s how well the movie does. That predicts what’s going to happen with your jobs. The better the movie does, the more offers you get. So I was burned a couple of times, and disappointed.  

‘Back in 1991 I was picky about what I would do. But you can’t just sit around and wait for the perfect ones to turn up. You try to make the best choices that you can.’

Despite appearing in more than 120 titles throughout his career, he admitted that he still didn’t feel like he fit in with his fellow actors. 

He shared, ‘I don’t feel like I’m one of the guys. Even when I’m with these guys [his Hannibal costars] I feel I’m more quiet and let them take center stage. My personality is more mellow. I don’t need to be the center of attention. I don’t know if that’s being an outsider or not.’

While speaking to the Guardian in a separate interview last year, he admitted that he often turned down roles throughout his career, in the fear of playing similar characters back-to-back.

It turns out, he said no to portraying Ralphie in The Sopranos because he felt it was too much like his part in Goodfellas. 

‘I didn’t want to do another mafia thing, and I was shooting Hannibal. It just didn’t feel right at the time,’ he said.

However, as time went on, he became more willing to play whatever roles appealed to him.

‘If I played a bad guy, then I want to play a good guy, and then after a while, you just say ‘Whatever’s the best part, you do two bad guys in a row, so be it,’ he told the Digital FX in September.

He also told the Guardian, ‘Back in 1991. I was picky about what I would do. But you can’t just sit around and wait for the perfect ones to turn up. You try to make the best choices that you can, but I was turning down lots of things.’

Aside from The Sopranos, Liotta also turned down the role as Batman in 1989, after director Tim Burton considered casting him in the flick. Jack Nicholson ended up snagging the part.

‘I thought, “Batman? That’s a stupid idea,” even though he’d had just done one of my favorite movies of all time, Beetlejuice. So yes, I regret not auditioning for that,’ he later told Irish News.

He added to Los Angeles Times, ‘I think Tim Burton is such a great, great director, and I’ve always regretted not going to meet him. Just to meet him, just to talk – whether I agreed with playing it – because I couldn’t wrap my head around and understand.’

Losing his adoptive mother: How Ray Liotta made one of the biggest movies of all time while dealing with the tragic loss

Liotta faced heartbreak while making the 1990 gangster movie Goodfellas - when his adoptive mother died of cancer while he was holding her in his arms. He is pictured in the movie

Liotta faced heartbreak while making the 1990 gangster movie Goodfellas – when his adoptive mother died of cancer while he was holding her in his arms. He is pictured in the movie

While making the movie Goodfellas, tragedy struck for Liotta when his adoptive mother died of cancer in his arms. 

It turns out, the actor got the news that she had taken a turn for the worse in the middle of filming, but he still made sure to finish the scene.

‘My mom was sick with cancer during the filming of Goodfellas, and she passed away in the middle of it… It put things in perspective in a really deep way,’ he told the Today show last year, while discussing the highly-acclaimed film.

‘I was doing a scene Friday. They told me [she was dying]. My knees buckled, but you realize you’ve got to go back and finish the scene. And I did.’

After wrapping up for the day, he rushed to the hospital and made it just in time to say goodbye. 

‘I went back [to the hospital] that night, and luckily I was there when she passed, literally in my arms. I’ve never really talked about that,’ he continued.

It turns out, the actor got the news that she had taken a turn for the worse in the middle of filming, but he still made sure to finish the scene, before rushing to the hospital to say goodbye. He is pictured in the movie

It turns out, the actor got the news that she had taken a turn for the worse in the middle of filming, but he still made sure to finish the scene, before rushing to the hospital to say goodbye. He is pictured in the movie

While talking to NJ.com, he called making the movie a ‘weird experience’ after suffering from the loss of his mom.

‘It was a weird experience for me, because my mom was really sick, so that was going on, and really tempered what I was feeling at the time,’ he recalled.

‘But that movie, it’s amazing, it definitely has a life of its own, and it’s only grown over time. People watch it over and over, and still respond to it, and different ages come up, even today, teenagers come up to me and they really emotionally connect to it.’

After his adoptive parents passed away, Liotta admitted that he wasn’t sure how they felt about his impressive acting career.

He explained that despite them often watching his appearances, they never told him they were proud of his achievements. 

He said in 2016: ‘You know, my parents never really said one way or the other if he was pleased I became successful. My mother passed away right in the middle of Goodfellas. 

‘I knew they were proud because they taped the shows I was on and they would watch them at night, but they never really said anything about it or how they thought I was doing.

‘My dad just passed away over Christmas at the age of 98. Like anything, you find out from other people. “You’re Dad talks about you so much.” Really? He does?’

Inside Ray Liotta’s family and love life: How he found love in the years before his death 

Liotta met his ex-wife Grace in February 1997 when they both attended a baseball game, where her former husband Mark Grace was playing for the Chicago Cubs. The former couple is pictured in 2002

Liotta met his ex-wife Grace in February 1997 when they both attended a baseball game, where her former husband Mark Grace was playing for the Chicago Cubs. The former couple is pictured in 2002

Liotta and his ex-wife were married from 1999 to 2004. They welcomed one daughter together, named Karsen Liotta - who is now an actress herself. Liotta and Karsen are pictured in 2004

Liotta and his ex-wife were married from 1999 to 2004. They welcomed one daughter together, named Karsen Liotta – who is now an actress herself. Liotta and Karsen are pictured in 2004

Liotta couldn't stop gushing over his daughter while chatting to the Guardian in 2007. He said,'My whole life is about her. Being a dad. She'll come up and visit me on set. I don't like to go too long without seeing her.' They are pictured in 2008

Liotta couldn’t stop gushing over his daughter while chatting to the Guardian in 2007. He said, ‘My whole life is about her. Being a dad. She’ll come up and visit me on set. I don’t like to go too long without seeing her.’ They are pictured in 2008

Liotta met his ex-wife Grace in February 1997 when they both attended a baseball game, where her former husband Mark Grace was playing for the Chicago Cubs.

Grace, now 53, is a producer and actress who was behind flicks like Baseball Wives and Knights of the South Bronx.

They married in 1999 and were together until 2004, when they got divorced. They welcomed one daughter together, named Karsen Liotta – who is now an actress herself.

Karsen, now 23, has modeled for brands like Brandy Melville, and has starred in A Rumor of Angels, Mississippi Requiem, Shades of Blue, Teenage Bada**, and Hubie Halloween.

According to the budding star, she fell in love with acting after visiting her father’s set as a kid.

‘I always go with him whenever I have a break,’ she told Teen Vogue in 2015. ‘I enjoy hanging out on location and meeting people.’ 

As for the lessons her dad taught her, she explained, ‘He taught me to do my homework, to always practice. That’s how you get where you want to be.’

Liotta couldn’t stop gushing over his daughter while chatting to the Guardian in 2007. He said, ‘My whole life is about her. Being a dad. She’ll come up and visit me on set. I don’t like to go too long without seeing her. 

‘Maybe a couple of weeks. I just had a period of four months at home because I decided not to do a movie so I could spend more time with her. It was all about taking her to dance classes, playing with her.’ 

Karsen, now 23, has modeled for brands like Brandy Melville, and has starred in A Rumor of Angels, Mississippi Requiem, Shades of Blue, Teenage Bada**, and Hubie Halloween

Karsen, now 23, has modeled for brands like Brandy Melville, and has starred in A Rumor of Angels, Mississippi Requiem, Shades of Blue, Teenage Bada**, and Hubie Halloween

Karsen, now 23, has modeled for brands like Brandy Melville, and has starred in A Rumor of Angels, Mississippi Requiem, Shades of Blue, Teenage Bada**, and Hubie Halloween 

According to the budding star, she fell in love with acting after visiting her father's set as a kid.'I always go with him whenever I have a break,' she told Teen Vogue in 2015.'I enjoy hanging out on location and meeting people'

According to the budding star, she fell in love with acting after visiting her father’s set as a kid. ‘I always go with him whenever I have a break,’ she told Teen Vogue in 2015. ‘I enjoy hanging out on location and meeting people’

The actor explained at the time of the interview – which took place three years after his divorce – that he was still friends with Grace and that they were focused on co-parenting their daughter.

‘It just didn’t work out,’ he said of the romance. ‘I would love to be in a relationship with the right person. That’s the key – the right person.

‘She’s a great woman, and thank God we’re still friends. She still stays over at the house, so Karsen can see us together. You want to give her as much semblance of a family unit as you can when you’re separated or divorced.’

Before his romance with Grace, Liotta dated a woman named Heidi – a former stunt woman who was a quadriplegic.

According to the outlet, they met through actress Melanie Griffith, but their romance fizzled out after Liotta realized he needed to focus more on his career.

‘We went to the movies, did everything like a regular girlfriend-boyfriend relationship – physically, sexually, everything,’ he told the outlet.

‘She just happened to be a quad. After a year it starts wearing on you. At first I hoped she’d get better. It was an intense relationship. It took so much out of me I was compromising the work part. I realized that to succeed in the dream I had to break away.’

Before his death, Liotta found love again with former hairstylist Jacy Nittolo, 47. The two started dating during the pandemic after his daughter set them up. They got engaged of December 2020

Before his death, Liotta found love again with former hairstylist Jacy Nittolo, 47. The two started dating during the pandemic after his daughter set them up. They got engaged of December 2020 

After he and Grace split, he had a brief relationship – which he kept hidden from the media – but he said it didn’t work out because he was still feeling ‘vulnerable’ from the divorce.

‘I had a relationship after I got divorced and it didn’t feel as equal as I would have liked,’ he admitted. ‘I was more vulnerable based on the experience I’d just been through. Everybody brings the dynamics of the previous relationships they were in.’

At the time, Liotta said he wasn’t dating anyone, but was still hoping to find the love of his life.

‘Dating, I haven’t really gotten into that at all. I’ve only had one or two dates in the past couple of years. It’s either going to happen, or not. I’m hoping that it is,’ he said, adding that he was looking for someone who was ‘not as career-oriented’ and who was ‘more about the relationship.’

‘You kind of want someone who is not at your beck and call but loves the idea of being in a relationship and what that entails. Being there for you,’ he continued.

Before his death, Liotta found love again with former hairstylist Jacy Nittolo, 47. The two started dating during the pandemic after his daughter set them up.

It turns out, she met Nittolo at a party thrown by her son Chazz, and she decided to play matchmaker.

‘She said, “I want you to go out with my dad, I think you’d be perfect for my dad,”‘ Liotta recalled during a September 2021 appearance on Live With Kelly and Ryan, adding that Nittolo initially wanted ‘nothing’ to do with a famous actor, but she eventually came around.

Before meeting Liotta, Nittolo was previously married to a man named Joey Nittolo, and the pair share sons, Dax, Chazz, and Joey, and daughter, Jade. 

She and Liotta made their red carpet debut at the Film Independent Spirit Awards in February of 2020, and announced their engagement in December of that year. 

‘Christmas wishes do come true. I asked the love of my life to marry me, and thank God she said yes!’ he wrote on Instagram at the time. 

He opened up about their romance to People back in November, explaining: ‘Luckily, I had met somebody [during the pandemic], and it brought us really, really close, to the point now where I’m engaged.

‘So I like to think that was the reason. I’ve heard that there’s a lot of people whose relationship didn’t work out because they were with each other so much. But she’s just great.’

Courting controversy: How Ray Liotta skirted scandal throughout his decades-long career 

Throughout his decades-long career, Liotta had a few controversies and scandals. In 2016, the actor appeared on British TV show Good Morning Britain and seemed disoriented and confused, sparking speculation that he was drunk during the appearance (pictured)

Throughout his decades-long career, Liotta had a few controversies and scandals. In 2016, the actor appeared on British TV show Good Morning Britain and seemed disoriented and confused, sparking speculation that he was drunk during the appearance (pictured)

In 2007, Liotta faced controversy when he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, after he crashed his car into two parked vehicles in Pacific Palisades, California.

He was taken into custody and booked on a misdemeanor DUI charge, said Los Angeles Police spokesman Mike Lopez, according to Berkshire Eagle. He was released after posting $15,000 bail and later pled no contest. 

In 2016, the actor appeared on U.K. talk show Good Morning Britain and seemed disoriented and confused, sparking speculation that he was drunk during the appearance.

‘Liotta’s face was pale and bloated. He stumbled over his words and acted way out of character,’ NY Daily News reported at the time. 

That same year, the actor made headlines when he attended the SAG Awards sporting a suspiciously line-free face.

The actor raised eyebrows as he showed off his new look on the red carpet, leaving many people on the internet wondering if he had gotten plastic surgery.

At the time, some social media users compared him to characters from The Grinch and The Hunger Games. 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-10858023/Look-Goodfellas-star-Ray-Liottas-extraordinary-life-passes-away-age-67.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Look back at Goodfellas star Ray Liotta’s extraordinary life as he passes away at age 67

Bradford Betz

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