New York – Ray Liot, the most famous actor who starred in the gang classic “Goodfellas” has passed away.
The 67-year-old native of New Jersey died in his sleep in the Dominican Republic, where he worked on a new film.
As CBS2’s Dick Brennan announced Thursday, the Union High School graduate has no plans to enter Hollywood on a large scale.
He was the snooping star of one of the biggest gang movies of all time. Ray Leotta starred as Henry Hill in the classic “Goodfellows” of the 1990s, with some iconic movie scenes on the big screen.
A year ago, Scholes played Joe Jackson in “Field of Dreams” and made a huge impact as a baseball ghost.
He got his start in soaps, appeared in “Another World” and was not really interested in acting.
“Did you think you’d do this now?” Mary Calvi of CBS2 asked Leota in 2006.
“Never. I had no idea. I played all the time. I left basketball in my senior year and was in high school playing, it was a terrible experience. I hate it,” Liota said.
Leotta told Calvi that for a moment everything had changed.
“This beautiful girl said, ‘Are you going to try on the play tonight?’ I said no. She said, ‘Well, why are you doing this? It’s about the play.’ So I auditioned and got it, I was a choreographer at ‘Cabaret’.
Leotta was born on December 18, 1954 in Newark and grew up in Union. He is also in the Union High School Hall of Fame.
In the early 90s, it seemed that Leota was heading towards a superstar, but Hollywood was planning a plot twist.
Johnny Olekinsky, a New York Post entertainment critic, said: “He’s been riding high after ‘Goodfellows’.
Oleksinsky said that Leota does not want to make too much gang movies.
“He made terrible choices. Look at Robert De Niro and Joe Pesky and Lorraine Brock. Their careers got higher and higher. Liot never worked with Martin Scorsese again, they all did,” Olekinsky said.
Most recently, Leota starred in “The Many Saints of Newark”, the prequel to “The Sopranos”.
Leota may have appeared naturally as the tough guy in the movie, but in real life he was far from it.
“I’ve only been in one fight all my life, it’s been in seventh grade. It’s fun, guys, they laugh when I see these bad guys playing, they laugh like people say, because it’s not me,” Liota told Calvi.
The Newark kid who reached the heights of Hollywood is now leaving the movie magic.
“I’m completely devastated to hear this terrible news about my Ray. I can be anywhere in the world. People will come and tell me that their favorite film is Goodfellows. And then they always ask me what is the best part of making it. The film and my answer is always the same … Ray Leota, “actor Lorraine Brocko, who starred with him in” Goodfellows “, wrote on Instagram.
“Ray Liot is a complete legend in film and television – a Prime Time Emmy Award winner and a native of Newark, NJ. His screen work has touched the lives of many. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and many fans,” NJ said. Governor Bill Murphy wrote on Twitter.
“I’m so sad to know Ray’s closet. He’s too young to leave us. Let him rest in peace,” De Niro said.
“Ray was my partner in crime in Shades of Blue … the first thing that comes to mind is him. [was so] Compassion to my children. Ray was the epitome of a tough guy.
“Not Ray,” actor James Conn tweeted.