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‘Goodfellas’ actor Ray Liotta, voice of Palm Beach County tourism video, dies

Actor Ray Liotta attends the "No Sudden Move" premiere during the 20th Tribeca Festival at The...
Actor Ray Liotta attends the "No Sudden Move" premiere during the 20th Tribeca Festival at The Battery on Friday, June 18, 2021, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)(Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Published: May. 26, 2022 at 12:51 PM EDT
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“Goodfellas” actor Ray Liotta, who once lent his voice to a Palm Beach County tourism video, has died at the age of 67.

Deadline reported Thursday that Liotta died in his sleep in the Dominican Republic, where he was making a movie. His publicist, Jen Allen, told The Associated Press that he was in the Dominican Republic making a new movie and didn't wake up Thursday morning.

Liotta was plenty familiar with Florida and South Florida, in particular.

The New Jersey-born actor, perhaps best known for his role as Henry Hill in Martin Scorsese's 1990 mob drama "Goodfellas," graduated from the University of Miami and went on to appear in several movies filmed in the Sunshine State.

His sophomore movie, "Something Wild," for which he earned a Golden Globe nomination, was filmed in the Tallahassee area.

Liotta came to Palm Beach County in 2000 to film "Heartbreakers," which was set in Palm Beach. Filming locations included the Breakers, Worth Avenue and neighboring West Palm Beach.

In 2014, Liotta voiced a tourism video touting Palm Beach County as a "place where luxury never goes out of style, where there's always something for everyone."

Liotta's father, Alfred, died in Palm Beach Gardens in 2015 at the age of 98. According to his obituary, his son was at his side.

While studying acting at the University of Miami in the 1970s, Liotta performed in musicals like "Cabaret," "Oklahoma" and "The Sound of Music."

Liotta made his film debut in 1983's "The Lonely Lady," but his first major role came in director Jonathan Demme's "Something Wild," co-starring Jeff Daniels and Melanie Griffith. Although set in New Jersey, the movie was filmed throughout Tallahassee and Florida's Big Bend region.

Liotta's performance as the violent ex-convict husband to Griffith's character earned him a Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actor in a motion picture.

Ray Liotta arrives at the Newport Beach Film Festival on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, at Balboa Bay...
Ray Liotta arrives at the Newport Beach Film Festival on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, at Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach, Calif.

But his breakthrough performance came four years later, when Scorsese cast him as mobster Henry Hill in the Oscar-nominated "Goodfellas." The movie, based on the 1985 novel "Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family," chronicles the rise and fall of Hill and associates, played by Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci.

The film was nominated for six Oscars – although Liotta failed to receive a nomination – and is widely regarded as one of the greatest gangster movies ever made.

Some of Liotta's other film roles include 1989's "Field of Dreams," in which he portrayed the ghost of baseball star "Shoeless" Joe Jackson; 1992's "Unlawful Entry," starring opposite Kurt Russell and Madeleine Stowe as a psychopathic police officer fixated on another man's wife; 1997's "Cop Land," an ensemble crime drama about a New Jersey town whose residents are mostly comprised of corrupt cops; "Hannibal," director Ridley Scott's 2001 sequel to "The Silence of the Lambs;" and 2001's "Blow," about American cocaine smuggler George Jung.

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