Raymond Allen Liotta (Italian: [liˈɔtta]; December 18, 1954 – May 26, 2022) was an American actor and film producer. He is most known for his roles as Shoeless Joe Jackson in Field of Dreams (1989), Henry Hill in Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas (1990). He was an Primetime Emmy Award winning actor and received a Golden Globe Award nomination and two Screen Actors Guild Award nominations. Liotta first gained attention for his role as Ray Sinclair in the Jonathan Demme film Something Wild (1986), for which he received a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture nomination. He continued to star in films such Dominick and Eugene (1988), Unlawful Entry (1992), Cop Land (1997) Hannibal (2001), Blow (2001), John Q (2002), Killing Them Softly (2012), The Place Beyond the Pines (2012), Kill the Messenger (2014), Marriage Story (2019), and the Sopranos prequel theatrical film The Many Saints of Newark (2021). He is also known for his television work in ER for which he received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series in 2004. He starred as Frank Sinatra in the television film The Rat Pack (1998) and Lorca and Tom Mitchell in Texas Rising (2015) for which he earned Screen Actors Guild Award nominations. He also starred in the drama series Shades of Blue (2016–2018) with Jennifer Lopez. He is also known as Tommy Vercetti in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002).
Liotta married actress and producer Michelle Grace in February 1997 after they met at a baseball game, where her former husband Mark Grace was playing for the Chicago Cubs. The couple had a daughter, Karsen, before divorcing in 2004.On an episode of Jay Leno's Garage, Liotta revealed that Nancy and Tina Sinatra, daughters of Frank Sinatra, once sent Liotta a horse's head in the mail. The joke was in response to Liotta demurring to play their late father in a miniseries they were working on, only to see Liotta play him in the 1998 HBO television film The Rat Pack.In February 2007, he was charged for driving under the influence after crashing his Cadillac Escalade into two parked vehicles in Pacific Palisades. He pleaded no contest.From his experience shooting the Western Texas Rising, Liotta continued horseback riding and said in September 2014: "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."In 2018, discussing his role alongside Jennifer Lopez as a corrupt cop targeted by the FBI in the NBC crime drama Shades of Blue, Liotta told a reporter for Long Island Weekly: You want to do as many different genres as you can and that's what I've been doing. I've done movies with the Muppets. I did Sinatra. I did good guys and bad guys. I did a movie with an elephant. I decided that I was here to try different parts and do different things. That's what it’s really all about. That's what a career should be.
Liotta was born in Newark, New Jersey, on December 18, 1954. Having been abandoned at an orphanage, he was adopted at the age of six months by township clerk Mary (née Edgar) and auto-parts store owner Alfred Liotta. His adoptive parents were of Italian and Scottish descent. Alfred was a personnel director and president of a local Democratic Party club. His adoptive parents each unsuccessfully ran for local political office; he recalled attending parades to hand out flyers for his father's run.Liotta had a sister, Linda, who was also adopted. He said that he knew he was adopted as a young child, and presented a show-and-tell report on it for kindergarten. He hired a private detective to locate his biological mother in the 2000s, from whom he learned that he was mostly of Scottish descent. He had one biological sister, one biological half-brother, and five biological half-sisters.Liotta grew up in a Roman Catholic household in Union, New Jersey, although his family was not especially religious. They attended church and he received first communion and was confirmed, but the family did not pray much. He occasionally used prayer in his daily life, telling an interviewer, "... if I'm in a fix I'll pray ... if I'm feeling uncomfortable about something I'll say "Our Father's" and "Hail Marys" to this day." In 1973, he graduated from Union High School and was later named to the Union High School Hall of Fame.