Ray Liotta

Ray Liotta

Ray Liotta at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival

Born (1954-12-18) December 18, 1954
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Alma mater University of Miami
Occupation Actor, film producer, voice actor
Years active 1978–present
Spouse(s) Michelle Grace (m. 1997; div. 2004)
Children 1

Raymond Allen "Ray" Liotta (born December 18, 1954) is an American actor, film producer, and voice actor. He is known for playing Henry Hill in the crime-drama Goodfellas (1990) and Shoeless Joe Jackson in Field of Dreams (1989). For his second feature film, Jonathan Demme's Something Wild (1986), Liotta received a Golden Globe nomination and won the Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor. He has since become a highly regarded screen personality, appearing in leading or supporting roles in films such as Unlawful Entry (1992), No Escape (1994), Narc (2002), Wild Hogs (2007), Killing Them Softly (2012) and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014).

Early life

Liotta was born in Newark, New Jersey and adopted at the age of six months by Mary, an appointed township clerk,[1] and Alfred Liotta,[2][3] an auto-parts store owner, personnel director, and the president of a local Democratic club.[1][4] His adoptive parents both unsuccessfully ran for local office.[5] He has a sister, Linda Liotta, who is also adopted.

Liotta has said he knew he was adopted as a young child and did a show-and-tell report on it for kindergarten.[6] Liotta located his biological mother in the 2000s.[6] His adoptive parents were of Italian and Scottish ancestry. After research and talks with his biological mother, he learned he is part Scottish.[7][8][9][10][11] He has one half brother, five half sisters, and a full sister.[12]

Liotta was raised Roman Catholic, although his family was not very religious.[13] Liotta said the family went to church and he received first communion and was confirmed, but the family did not pray much. He occasionally uses prayer in his daily life.[13]

Liotta's parents were both Democrats. Liotta recalls attending parades handing out flyers for his father's run for Township Committee.[6]

He graduated from Union High School[14] in 1973 in Union, New Jersey where he grew up.[7]

Liotta graduated from the University of Miami, where he received a degree in Fine Arts in 1978 and studied acting with Robert "Buckets" Lowery.[15] He performed in musicals such as Cabaret, Dames at Sea, Oklahoma, and Sound of Music, during college, especially in his first year of acting studies.[16]


After college, Liotta moved to New York City. He got a job as a bartender at the Shubert theaters and landed an agent within six months.[7]

One of Liotta's earliest roles was as Joey Perrini on the soap opera Another World; he appeared on the show from 1978 to 1981. He quit the show so he could try his luck in the film industry, and moved to Los Angeles. He made his film debut in a sexual assault scene with Pia Zadora and a garden hose in the 1983 cult classic The Lonely Lady. His first major acting role was Something Wild (1986),[6][8] which earned him his first Golden Globe nomination.[17] In 1989, he costarred alongside Kevin Costner in the fantasy/drama film Field of Dreams— Liotta portrayed Shoeless Joe Jackson, the ghost of the famed baseball player. His voice over line, "If you build it, he will come", is #39 on the American Film Institute's list of 100 movie quotes.

In 1990, Liotta portrayed real-life mobster Henry Hill in Martin Scorsese's film Goodfellas.[7]

In 1992, he costarred as a psychopathic cop alongside Kurt Russell and Madeleine Stowe in the thriller Unlawful Entry. He appeared in a leading role in the sci-fi/action film No Escape. Liotta earned critical praise for his turn in James Mangold's film Cop Land, starring alongside Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro, and Harvey Keitel. In 1998, he received critical praise for his performance in Phoenix playing a compulsive gambler.

In addition to his film roles, Liotta portrayed singer Frank Sinatra in the 1998 TV movie The Rat Pack (for which he received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination), he provided the voice of Tommy Vercetti for the 2002 video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and appeared in the television drama ER in 2004, playing Charlie Metcalf in the episode "Time of Death".[18] The ER role earned Liotta an Emmy for "Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series" (Liotta would later spoof himself and his Emmy win in Bee Movie). Liotta starred in the 2006 CBS television series Smith, which was pulled from the schedule after three episodes, and in 2012 Liotta appeared as himself in a purely vocal role for the "What a Croc!" episode of the Disney Channel comedy series Phineas & Ferb.[18]

Liotta played the father of drug dealer George Jung in the 2001 Johnny Depp film Blow and, in the following year, appeared as Detective Lieutenant Henry Oak in the Joe Carnahan-directed film Narc,[18] a role that led to an Independent Spirit Award nomination and a Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards nomination for Best Supporting Male.

He then reunited with director James Mangold in 2003, alongside John Cusack and Alfred Molina, in the dark horror-thriller Identity. In 2005, he narrated Inside the Mafia for the National Geographic Channel. He later appeared in Smokin' Aces — reuniting with Narc director Carnahan — in which he portrayed an FBI agent named Donald Carruthers in one of the lead roles.[18]

Liotta appeared with John Travolta in the movie Wild Hogs, in Battle in Seattle as the city's mayor, and in Hero Wanted as a detective alongside Cuba Gooding Jr.. He also appeared in Crossing Over, co-starring Harrison Ford. Liotta played Detective Harrison in the 2009 Jody Hill comedy Observe and Report as Seth Rogen's nemesis from the local police. In 2011, he starred in The Son of No One, opposite Channing Tatum and, for the first time in his career, Al Pacino.[18]

In 2004, Liotta made his Broadway debut opposite Frank Langella[19] in the Stephen Belber play, Match.[20][21]

In the 2010s, Liotta appeared in Date Night, with Steve Carell, Charlie St. Cloud with Zac Efron, the independent drama Snowmen, and The River Sorrow, which stars Liotta as a detective alongside Christian Slater and Ving Rhames. He starred alongside Brad Pitt and James Gandolfini in the 2012 Andrew Dominik film Killing Them Softly[22] and the 2013 Ariel Vromen film The Iceman features Liotta as the character of Roy DeMeo.[23] He had a supporting role in Muppets Most Wanted (2014).[18]

In 2014, Liotta played a preacher in the faith-based film The Identical.[16][24] He had a supporting role in crime drama film Revenge of the Green Dragons, executive produced by Martin Scorsese.

Liotta starred in the Western miniseries Texas Rising for The History Channel in 2015. Other projects include Kill the Messenger with Jeremy Renner, Stretch with Chris Pine and a David Guetta video.[24]

Since June 2015, Liotta narrates the AMC docu-series The Making of the Mob.[25]

Since 2016 Liotta stars opposite Jennifer Lopez in Shades of Blue.

Personal life

Liotta married actress Michelle Grace in February 1997 after they met at her former husband (Mark Grace)'s professional baseball game.[26] The couple co-starred in The Rat Pack, in which Liotta played Frank Sinatra and Grace played Judith Campbell Exner. They have a daughter.[7] The couple divorced in 2004.[1][7]

From his experience shooting the Western Texas Rising, Liotta says he has continued horseback riding. He said, "I was obsessed with riding horses [on the show]. I love it now. I've never had a hobby. It might be my new hobby. Just love it, everything about them. Horses are unbelievable: Smart, loyal -- and moody, [laughing] which I can relate to."[6]

On February 19, 2007, Liotta was arrested under suspicion of driving under the influence after crashing his Cadillac Escalade into two parked vehicles in Pacific Palisades.[27] He pleaded no contest.[28]



Year Film Role Notes
1983 Lonely Lady, TheThe Lonely Lady Joe Heron
1986 Something Wild Ray Sinclair Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor (tied with Dennis Hopper for Blue Velvet)
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Nominated—National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor (3rd place)
Nominated—New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor (3rd place)
1987 Arena Brains The Artist Short film
1988 Dominick and Eugene Eugene "Gino" Luciano
1989 Field of Dreams 'Shoeless' Joe Jackson
1990 Goodfellas Henry Hill
1992 Article 99 Dr. Richard Sturgess
1992 Unlawful Entry Officer Pete Davis Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Villain
1994 No Escape Captain J.T. Robbins
1994 Corrina, Corrina Manny Singer
1995 Operation Dumbo Drop Captain T.C. Doyle
1996 Unforgettable Dr. David Krane
1997 Turbulence Ryan Weaver
1997 Cop Land Detective Gary "Figgsy" Figgis
1998 Phoenix Harry Collins Also co-producer
1999 Muppets from Space Gate Guard # 1 Cameo
1999 Forever Mine Mark Brice
2000 Pilgrim Jack
2000 Rumor of Angels, AA Rumor of Angels Nathan Neubauer
2001 Hannibal Paul Krendler
2001 Heartbreakers Dean Cummano / Vinny Staggliano
2001 Blow Fred Jung
2002 Narc Detective Lieutenant Henry Oak Also producer
Nominated – Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
Nominated – Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
2002 John Q Chief Gus Monroe
2002 Ticker FBI Agent Short film
2003 Identity Samuel Rhodes
2004 Last Shot, TheThe Last Shot Jack Devine
2004 Control Lee Ray Oliver Direct-to-DVD
2005 Revolver Dorothy Macha
2005 Slow Burn Ford Cole Also co-executive producer
2006 Even Money Tom Carver
2006 Take the Lead Executive producer
2006 Local Color John Talia Sr.
2006 Comeback Season Walter Pearce
2006 Smokin' Aces Donald Carruthers
2007 Wild Hogs Jack Blade
2007 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale Gallian
2007 Battle in Seattle Mayor Jim Tobin
2007 Bee Movie Himself (voice)
2008 Hero Wanted Detective Terry Subcott
2009 Crossing Over Cole Frankel
2009 Observe and Report Detective Harrison
2009 Powder Blue Jack Doheny
2009 La Linea Mark Shields Also executive producer
2009 Youth in Revolt Lance Wescott
2010 Crazy on the Outside Gray
2010 Date Night Joe Miletto Uncredited
2010 Snowmen Reggie Kirkfield
2010 Chasing 3000 Adult Mickey
2010 Charlie St. Cloud Florio Ferrente
2011 The Details Peter Mazzoni
2011 Son of No One, TheThe Son of No One Captain Marion Mathers
2011 All Things Fall Apart Dr. Brintall
2011 Street Kings 2: Motor City Marty Kingston Direct-to-DVD
2011 River Murders, TheThe River Murders Jack Verdon
2011 Field of Dreams 2: Lockout Roger Goodell Short film
2011 Ticket out Jim
2011 Entitled, TheThe Entitled Richard Nader
2012 Wanderlust Himself Cameo
2012 Killing Them Softly Markie Trattman
2012 Breathless Sheriff Cooley
2012 The Iceman Roy DeMeo
2012 Place Beyond the Pines, TheThe Place Beyond the Pines Deluca
2012 Yellow Afai
2012 Bad Karma Molloy
2012 Dear Dracula Count Dracula (voice) Direct-to-DVD
2013 Devil's in the Details, TheThe Devil's in the Details Dr. Robert Michaels
2013 Turbo Snail 10
2013 Pawn Man in the Suit
2013 Suddenly Todd Shaw
2014 Better Living Through Chemistry Jack Roberts
2014 Muppets Most Wanted Big Papa
2014 The Identical Reece Wade
2014 Sin City: A Dame to Kill For Joey
2014 Revenge of the Green Dragons Michael Bloom
2014 Stretch Himself
2014 Kill the Messenger John Cullen
2015 Blackway Blackway
2016 Sticky Notes Jack
2016 Flock of Dudes Uncle Reed
2016 Alone Mr. Ancilla Post-production
2016 Ticket Out FBI Agent NR by the Motion Picture Association of America


Year Title Role Notes
1980 Hardhat and Legs Family Television film
1980–81 Another World Joey Perrini #2 8 episodes
1981 Crazy Times Johnny "Wizard" Lazarra Television film
1983 St. Elsewhere Murray Episode: "Rain"
1983 Casablanca Sacha 5 episodes
1984 Mike Hammer Tony Cable Episode: "Kill Devil"
1985 Our Family Honor Officer Ed Santini 10 episodes
1991 Women & Men 2: In Love There Are No Rules Martin Meadows Television film
1995 Frasier Bob (voice) Episode: "Frasier Grinch"
1998 Rat Pack, TheThe Rat Pack Frank Sinatra Television film
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
2001 Family Guy Zack (voice) Episode: "Brian Does Hollywood"
2001–02 Just Shoot Me! Himself 2 episodes
2002 Point of Origin John Leonard Orr Television film
2004 ER Charlie Metcalf Episode: "Time of Death"
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
2006–07 Smith Bobby Stevens 7 episodes
2008 SpongeBob SquarePants Trevor (voice) Episode: "What Ever Happened to SpongeBob?"
2010 Hannah Montana Forever Principal Luger Episode: "Hannah Montana to the Principal's Office"
2011 The League Mr. Hudabega Episode: "Yobogoya!"
2012 Phineas and Ferb Himself (voice) Episode: "What A Croc!"
2012 NTSF:SD:SUV:: Jason Episode: "Wasilla Hills Cop"
2012 Abominable Christmas Abominable Dad (voice) Television film
2014 The Money George Archer Television pilot
2015 Texas Rising Lorca 5 episodes
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
2015–present The Making of the Mob Himself (voice) Narrator
2016–present Shades of Blue Lieutenant Matt Wozniak Main role
13 episodes
2016 Modern Family Himself Episode: "Playdates"

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2002 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Tommy Vercetti (voice) G-Phoria Award for Best Male Voice Performance
Spike Video Game Awards for Best Performance by a Human
2013 Call of Duty: Black Ops II Billy Handsome (voice) Mob of the Dead (Uprising DLC Zombies Map)


Year Title Role Notes
2004 Match Mike Broadway

Music videos

Year Title Album Role
2014 "Lovers on the Sun" Listen by David Guetta The Villain
2015 "Bloodstream"[29] × by Ed Sheeran and Rudimental[30]


  1. 1 2 3 "Ray Liotta". Biography. Lifetime TV. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  2. "Raymond Liotta - United States Public Records, 1970-2009". FamilySearch. Retrieved 12 September 2014.
  3. "Mary E Liotta - United States Public Records, 1970-2009". FamilySearch. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  4. "Ray Liotta profile". Film Reference. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
  5. "Ray Liotta". Movies.yahoo.com. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 King, Larry (September 3, 2014). "Ray Liotta". Larry King Now. Ora. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Whitty, Stephen (November 25, 2012). "Ray Liotta on 'Goodfellas,' mob movies, Jersey and more". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  8. 1 2 Finke, Nikki (September 16, 1990). "Not Your Typical Wise Guy: Why Ray Liotta had a tough time getting a deal he didn't want to refuse--a leading role in Martin Scorsese's Mafia movie, 'GoodFellas'". Los Angeles Times.
  9. Tarshis, Joan (Fall 2001). "One on One with Ray Liotta". Smoke Magazine. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved September 14, 2014.
  10. "Ray Liotta Is Glad He Met His Biological Mother". Star Pulse. October 6, 2006. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  11. Keier, Helen (March 1, 2001). "IGN: Interview with Ray Liotta". IGN. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
  12. Evans, Suzy (September 4, 2014). "Ray Liotta Filmed 'The Identical' Because of His Own Adoption Experience". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
  13. 1 2 Nsenduluka, Benge (August 29, 2014). "Ray Liotta on 'The Identical', Being Adopted and Safety Concerns After Playing a Snitch in 'Goodfellas'". Christian Post. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  14. Kratch, James (September 1, 2012). "Football previews, 2012: Union". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  15. Marr, Madeleine (September 5, 2014). "Ray Liotta dug deep to play a preacher in 'The Identical'". Miami Herald. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  16. 1 2 Camilleri, Ricky (September 4, 2014). "Ray Liotta LIVE" (Video interview). Huffington Post. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  17. "HFPA – Awards Search". Hollywood Foreign Press. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
  18. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Ray Liotta at the Internet Movie Database
  19. Gans, Andrew (November 14, 2003). "Frank Langella to Join Ray Liotta for Broadway's Match". Playbill. Retrieved September 14, 2014.
  20. "Match - Stephen Belber". Dramatists Play Service. 2004. Retrieved September 14, 2014.
  21. Gardner, Elysa (April 8, 2004). "Langella, Liotta make almost perfect 'Match'". USA Today. Retrieved September 14, 2014.
  22. Scott, A.O. (November 29, 2012). "One Bad Turn Deserves Another". The New York Times. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  23. Alex Godfrey (June 6, 2013). "Ray Liotta: 'I like Brad. I admire his whole career'". The Guardian. London. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  24. 1 2 Richford, Rhonda. "Deauville: Ray Liotta Reflects on Career, Box Office Beating of 'The Identical'". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  25. Neale, April (April 10, 2015). "AMC's 8-Part Event 'Making Of The Mob: New York' With Ray Liotta Kicks Off "Mob Mondays"". Monsters & Critics. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  26. Longsdorf, Amy. "Ray Liotta finds intense adrenaline rush in 'Narc'". Pottstown Mercury. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  27. "Under The Influence". CBS News. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  28. Markovitz, Adam. "News Monitor". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2015-08-18.
  29. "Ed Sheeran & Rudimental "Bloodstream" [Official Music Video YTMAs]". YouTube. March 23, 2015. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  30. Dreps, Daniel (March 23, 2015). "Ray Liotta Plays Washed-Up, Hair-Metal Star in Ed Sheeran's 'Bloodstream' Video". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 10, 2015.

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