Actor Ray Liotta has died this Thursday at the age of 67 in the Dominican Republic where he was recording the movie Dangerous Waters, according to Deadline magazine. Liotta lived a new cinematographic youth. His recent appearances include The Many Saints of Newark, Marriage Story and No Sudden Move. He had just finished Cocaine Bear, directed by Elizabeth Banks, and was to star in the Working Title film The Substance, opposite Demi Moore and Margaret Qualley.
The actor was one of the essential names of the cinema of the 90s in which he triumphed thanks to his roles as a villain. He made himself known in Something Wild, by Jonathan Demme, a 1986 film that moved between the road movie and the most classic screwball in the style of My Girl's Beast (Howard Hawks, 1938). In Something Wild, Jeff Daniels plays a diffident young man who befriends the crazy Melanie Griffith and keeps getting into trouble. The problems worsen with the appearance of Liotta, Griffith's ex-husband, for whom the role earned him a Golden Globe nomination.
Liotta's career got off to a good start and continued on to better paths with titles such as One of Ours in 1990 under the command of Martin Scorsese. "Since I had the use of reason I wanted to be a gangster," said Liotta's character at the start of this film that narrates his career as a mobster at the hands of Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. And then came False Seduction (Jonathan Kaplan, 1992), where the actor played a policeman who, behind his friendly appearance, hid a psychopathic personality and made life impossible for the couple formed by Kurt Russell and Madeleine Stowe.
The 90s were the golden years for Liotta, born in New Jersey in 1954, and adopted at six months by a middle-class family, with jobs like Cop Land (James Mangold, 1997), a police one where the actor shared a poster with Sylvester Stallone, Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro. Liotta repeated as a policeman in his next job, Phoenix (Danny Cannon, 1998), this time accompanied by Anthony LaPaglia, Anjelica Huston and Daniel Baldwin.
In the early 2000s, Liotta was already world famous, but one of his best roles was yet to come, that of Paul Krendler in Hannibal (Ridley Scott, 2001), the sequel to The Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1991). Liotta became a corrupt public employee who tried to finish off Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) with little success in a film whose ending is not an act for sensitive spirits.
Then came the comedy The Seductresses (David Mirkin, 2001) where Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt were mother and daughter and dedicated themselves to displaying their charms to seduce and fleece unsuspecting millionaires like Liotta, who seeks revenge, although he ends up surrendered in the arms of a redeemed Weaver. That same year the actor shot Blow (Ted Demme), one of the first films that delved into the world of drug trafficking with Johnny Depp as the protagonist and a Penelope Cruz who had just landed in Hollywood.
Liotta never left the cinema, but with the arrival of the new century he began to be interested in television and it did not go badly for him either. In 2005, she participated in an episode of the series ER and that performance earned her an Emmy Award. And he provided his voice for the character of Tommy Vercetti in the video game Vice City, for an episode of the famous children's animated series SpongeBob SquarePants and for the documentary Inside the Mafia.
According to Deadline, the actor died in his sleep. The post also explains that Liotta leaves behind a daughter, Karsen, and that he was engaged to marry Jacy Nittolo. Between 1997 and 2004 he was married to actress Michelle Grace and also lived with another professional colleague, Catherine Hickland.