By John H. Foote

Ray Liotta, 67, died in his sleep on Wednesday.

The actor was not known to have been ill, and the passing has come as a terrible shock to his family and friends.

Liotta shot to stardom in the eighties with a superb performance as the ex-convict Charlie in Jonathan Demme’s Something Wild (1988). He followed that with a haunting performance as Shoeless Joe Jackson in the wonderful sports film Field of Dreams (1989).

That led directly to Martin Scorsese casting him in the role for which he is best known, Henry Hill in GoodFellas (1990). Nominated for six Academy Awards, GoodFellas is widely considered Scorsese’s greatest film and one of the best of the decade.

He has been among the busiest actors of the last 20 years, seen recently in Marriage Story (2019) and The Many Saints of Newark (2021).

A gifted actor, Liotta will be missed. He was famous for his maniacal laugh, and for an intensity that was often alarming.

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