Friday. 24.05.2024

Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro have led tributes to 'Goodfellas' star Ray Liotta, who has died aged 67.

Scorsese, who directed both actors in the 1990 film, praised the "uniquely gifted" and "courageous" performer, adding he would "always be proud" of the work they had done together.

Liotta's publicist Jennifer Allen confirmed to the PA news agency the actor had died in his sleep in the Dominican Republic, where he was filming his latest movie 'Dangerous Waters'.

His fiancee Jacy Nittolo was on location at the time of his death, Allen said.

Liotta is best known for his portrayal of Henry Hill in 'Goodfellas' opposite De Niro and Joe Pesci.

"I'm absolutely shocked and devastated by the sudden, unexpected death of Ray Liotta," Scorsese said, in a statement.

"He was so uniquely gifted, so adventurous, so courageous as an actor.

"Playing Henry Hill in Goodfellas was a tall order, because the character had so many different facets, so many complicated layers, and Ray was in almost every scene of a long, tough shoot.

"He absolutely amazed me, and I'll always be proud of the work we did together on that picture.

"My heart goes out to his loved ones, and it aches for his loss, way too early."

De Niro said in a statement: "I was very saddened to learn of Ray's passing. He is way too young to have left us."

Before 'Goodfellas' Liotta found fame playing ex-con Ray Sinclair in 1986 black comedy 'Something Wild', for which he received a Golden Globe nomination.

Other movies, music videos

He went on to star as Shoeless Joe Jackson in the 1989 film 'Field Of Dreams' and then the gangster epic.

Tributes to Liotta also came from famous faces including Ed Sheeran, Taron Egerton and Seth Rogen.

In recent years Liotta appeared in 'Marriage Story' and 'No Sudden Move' and starred alongside Tarron Egerton in the upcoming Apple TV series 'Black Bird'.

In 2021 Liotta starred in the Sopranos prequel movie 'The Many Saints Of Newark', after turning down a role in the original film.

He recently finished filming 'Cocaine Bear', a film directed by Elizabeth Banks which is scheduled to be released in February next year.

In addition to his acting roles, Liotta was also the narrator of documentary series 'The Making Of The Mob', and starred in a number of music videos including for David Guetta's song 'Lovers On The Sun'.

He leaves behind his daughter Karsen, whom he shares with his ex-wife Michelle Grace, and his fiancee Nittolo.

The producers of 'Dangerous Waters', the film which Liotta was working on at the time of his death, expressed their sadness following the news.

A statement on behalf of the producers said: "We were deeply saddened to learn of Ray's passing, it's a tremendous loss and our heartfelt condolences go out to his family, fiancee Jacy and daughter Karsen."

Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro praise Liotta following his death