The Life, Disease, and Unexpected Death of Ray Liotta-Everything To Know

Get a glimpse into the extraordinary life of Ray Liotta, the acclaimed actor who left an indelible mark on Hollywood. Learn about his early struggles, breakthrough roles, and lasting legacy.

Aug 2, 2023 - 13:10
The Life, Disease, and Unexpected Death of Ray Liotta-Everything To Know
The Life, Disease, and Unexpected Death of Ray Liotta-Everything To Know

Ray Liotta, a renowned American actor, was born on December 18, 1954, in Newark, New Jersey, USA. An interesting facet of his life is that he was adopted when he was only six months old, abandoned at an orphanage, and raised by Mary Edgar Liotta and Alfred Liotta. Growing up, he had an adopted sister, Linda, and later in his life, he discovered he had a biological sister, a half-brother, and five half-sisters.

Liotta's early education took place in Union, New Jersey. Upon graduating from Union High School in 1973, he studied acting at the University of Miami. Liotta graduated in 1978 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, honing his craft through performances at the University's Jerry Herman Ring Theatre.

Profile Summary

Information Type Information
Original Name Raymond Allen Liotta
Celebrated Name Ray Liotta
Gender Male
Main Profession Actor, producer, director, voice actor
Nationality American
Born In Newark, NJ, USA
Date of Birth 18th December 1954
Died In 27th May 2022
Age 67 years
Height 6' 0'' (183 cm)
Weight 190 lbs (86 kg)
Marital/Relationship Status Engaged (Jacy Nittolo)
Spouse Michelle Grace (divorced)
Children Karsen Liotta
Net Worth $14 million
Place of Death Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Zodiac Sign Gemini
Ethnicity White
Religion Roman Catholic
Sexuality Straight
Body Measurements 44-34-15.5 in (107-89-39.5 cm)
Hair Color Dark Brown
Eye Color Blue
Mother Mary Edgar Liotta
Father Alfred Liotta
Siblings Eight
School/University Union High School, University of Miami
Cause of Death Sudden adult death syndrome

The Genesis of a Hollywood Star

Liotta embarked on his acting journey right after his graduation. Moving to New York City, he worked as a bartender at the Shubert Organization before landing his first role on TV as Joey Perrini on the soap opera, "Another World." His performance on the show from 1978 to 1981 caught the eyes of Hollywood, and he relocated to Los Angeles to pursue a full-time acting career.

His debut in Hollywood came in 1983 with "The Lonely Lady." However, his breakthrough role was Ray Sinclair in Jonathan Demme's "Something Wild" in 1986. The performance earned him a nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture at the Golden Globe Awards, solidifying his standing in the industry.

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A Versatile Career Spanning Decades

Ray Liotta was a versatile actor who could play various characters, from tough guys to charming lovers to complex antiheroes. He starred in some of the most iconic films of the past few decades, and his performances are still remembered and celebrated today.

Here are some of Ray Liotta's most memorable film roles:

  • Henry Hill in "Goodfellas" (1990). Liotta's breakout role was as Henry Hill, a young man who becomes involved in the mob. His performance was praised for its authenticity and ability to capture organized crime's darkly humorous side.
  • Davey DiVito in "Something Wild" (1986). Liotta played a charming but unhinged ex-convict in this cult classic. His performance was funny and menacing, earning him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
  • Shoeless Joe Jackson in "Field of Dreams" (1989). Liotta gave a heartwarming performance as Shoeless Joe Jackson, a baseball legend who returns to Earth to help a young farmer build a baseball field. His performance was praised for its emotional depth and ability to capture baseball's magic.
  • Lt. Henry Oak in "Cop Land" (1997). Liotta plays a small-town cop who is investigating a series of murders. His performance was praised for its intensity and ability to capture the character's moral ambiguity.
  • Tommy Vercetti in "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" (2002). Liotta provided the voice and likeness of Tommy Vercetti, the protagonist of the popular video game. His performance was praised for its charisma and ability to bring the character to life.

These are just a few of Ray Liotta's most memorable film roles. He was a talented actor who brought a unique energy and intensity to every role. His performances will continue to be enjoyed by fans for years to come.

His Complete List Of Movies and series can be seen in the table below:

Rank Movie Title Year Rotten Tomatoes Score
1 GoodFellas 1990 96%
2 Marriage Story 2019 95%
3 No Sudden Move 2021 92%
4 Something Wild 1986 91%
5 Field of Dreams 1989 88%
6 Narc 2002 83%
7 The Place Beyond the Pines 2012 78%
8 Kill the Messenger 2014 77%
9 Cop Land 1997 75%
10 Killing Them Softly 2012 74%
11 Dominick and Eugene 1988 77%
12 Unlawful Entry 1992 74%
13 The Many Saints of Newark 2021 71%
14 Snowmen 2010 67%
15 Date Night 2010 66%
16 The Iceman 2012 66%
17 Identity 2003 63%
18 The Last Shot 2004 62%
19 The Rat Pack 1998 57%
20 Battle in Seattle 2007 56%
21 Blow 2001 55%
22 Heartbreakers 2001 54%
23 No Escape 1994 57%
24 Observe and Report 2009 51%
25 Phoenix 1998 50%
26 Bee Movie 2007 49%
27 The Details 2011 46%
28 Take the Lead 2006 44%
29 Article 99 1992 43%
30 Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For 2014 43%
31 Hannibal 2001 39%
32 Local Color 2006 39%
33 Corrina, Corrina 1994 37%
34 Powder Blue 2009 25%
35 Even Money 2006 24%
36 John Q 2002 25%
37 Better Living Through Chemistry 2014 22%
38 Unforgettable 1996 21%
39 Inferno 1999 20%
40 Go With Me 2015 20%
41 Turbulence 1997 16%
42 Crossing Over 2009 15%
43 Revolver 2005 15%
44 The Son of No One 2011 15%
45 Revenge of the Green Dragons 2014 15%
46 Wild Hogs 2007 14%
47 Slow Burn 2005 12%
48 Crazy on the Outside 2010 8%
49 The Identical 2014 6%
50 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale 2007 4%
51 The Lonely Lady 1983 0%

Personal Life: Family and Relationships

Liotta's personal life was as intriguing as his acting career. He married actress and producer Michelle Grace, with whom he had a daughter, Karsen. After divorcing Grace in 2004, he started dating Jacy Nittolo, a former hairdresser, making their relationship public in early 2020.

Ray Liotta's Net Worth at the Time of His Death

At the time of his passing, Ray Liotta had an estimated net worth of $14 million, garnered from his successful acting career and his ventures in film production and directing.

A Sudden and Mysterious End

Liotta's sudden death on May 26, 2022, shocked and saddened fans and fellow artists alike. He died while filming "Dangerous Waters" in the Dominican Republic.

The cause of Liotta's death was attributed to atherosclerotic disease, an accumulation of plaque comprised of fat, cholesterol, and other substances inside artery walls. This condition contributed to respiratory and heart failure and pulmonary edema - excess lung fluid.

Dominican officials estimated that Liotta died approximately 8-10 hours before the autopsy. No official reports suggested that Liotta suffered from any prior illness.

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Ray Liotta was an extraordinary actor whose impact on the entertainment industry remains profound. His life, marked with triumphs and challenges, was a testament to his resilience and versatility. His sudden death leaves an irreplaceable void in Hollywood, but his legacy will continue to inspire actors and movie lovers worldwide.


Who was Ray Liotta? 

Ray Liotta was a renowned American actor, film producer, and director known for his exceptional on-screen performances.

When was Ray Liotta born?

 He was born on December 18, 1954.

What disease did Ray Liotta have?

 Ray Liotta's death was attributed to atherosclerotic disease, which led to respiratory and heart failure and pulmonary edema.

Who were Ray Liotta's parents?

 Ray Liotta was adopted and raised by Mary Edgar Liotta and Alfred Liotta.

Was Ray Liotta married at the time of his death? 

Ray Liotta was divorced at his death but was engaged to Jacy Nittolo.

When did Ray Liotta die?

Ray Liotta died in his sleep on May 26, 2022, while filming "Dangerous Waters" in the Dominican Republic.

PLEASE NOTE: The details contained within this article are based on various sources and personal accounts. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, we cannot guarantee that every piece of information is correct.

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