Raymond Allen "Ray" Liotta[1] (born December 18, 1954) is an American actor, best known for his portrayal of Henry Hill in the crime-drama Goodfellas, directed by Martin Scorsese and his role as Shoeless Joe Jackson in Field of Dreams. He has won an Emmy Award and been nominated for a Golden Globe Award.

Early life

Ray Liotta was born in Newark, New Jersey, and was adopted at the age of six months by Mary Liotta, an appointed township clerk, and Alfred Liotta, an auto parts store owner, personnel director, and the president of a local Democratic club.[2] Both of his adoptive parents unsuccessfully ran for local office.[3] Liotta believed his biological parents were of Scottish and Italian descent,[4] but eventually reunited with his biological mother and discovered that he is not of Italian descent.[5][6] He was raised Roman Catholic. In 1973, Liotta graduated from Union High School in Union, New Jersey, and was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame in 1992. Liotta studied acting at the University of Miami, where he performed at the university's Jerry Herman Ring Theatre.


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 infamously made his film debut sexually assaulting Pia Zadora with a garden hose in the cult classic The Lonely Lady. In 1987, he earned his first Golden Globe nomination[7] for his portrayal of volatile ex-con Ray Sinclair in Jonathan Demme's film Something Wild (1986). In 1989, he costarred, along with Kevin Costner, in the fantasy/drama film, Field of Dreams. Liotta portrayed Shoeless Joe Jackson, the ghost of a baseball player that Costner's character's father had idolized and whom helped Costner along the path that destiny had set for him. In 1990, Liotta portrayed real -life mobster Henry Hill in Martin Scorsese's film Goodfellas. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Liotta would earn more critical praise for his turn in James Mangold's film Cop Land, starring alongside Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel.

In addition to his film roles, Liotta portrayed legendary singer Frank Sinatra in the 1998 TV movie The Rat Pack (for which he received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination) and provided the voice of Tommy Vercetti for the 2002 video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. That same year he appeared as Det. Lt. Henry Oak in the Joe Carnahan–directed film Narc, receiving an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Male. He also narrated Inside the Mafia for the National Geographic Channel in 2005. Liotta had a memorable guest appearance that year on the television drama ER playing Charlie Metcalf in the episode "Time of Death". The role earned him an Emmy for "Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series". Liotta would later spoof himself and his Emmy win in Bee Movie. He starred in the 2006 CBS television series Smith, which was pulled from the schedule after only three episodes had aired. He later appeared in Smokin' Aces (reuniting with Narc director Joe Carnahan), portraying an FBI agent named Donald Carruthers in one of the lead roles. He appeared with John Travolta in the movie Wild Hogs and with Johnny Depp in the 2001 film Blow, portraying the father of drug dealer George Jung.

Liotta has appeared in Battle in Seattle as the city's mayor and in Hero Wanted playing a detective alongside Cuba Gooding Jr.. He was also 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.[8] He told ABC's Good Morning America in 2001 that he was offered the role of Tony Soprano by series creator David Chase but turned it down to focus on movies.

Personal life

Liotta married actress Michelle Grace in February 1997. They met at her ex-husband's (Mark Grace) baseball game; they also co-starred in The Rat Pack, in which Liotta played Frank Sinatra and Grace played Judith Campbell Exner. Their daughter, Karsen, was born in December 1998. The couple divorced in 2004. Liotta currently resides in Pacific Palisades, California.

A baseball pitcher bearing his name is currently in the Kansas City Royals system. The two Ray Liottas are distant cousins.[9]

As part of his contract for starring in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale as Gallian, Liotta had permission to keep all wizard robes donned for the film.

On February 17, 2007, Liotta was arrested in the Highlands of Pacific Palisades after crashing his Cadillac Escalade into two parked cars on Palisades Drive, approximately one-half mile from his residence. He was charged with a misdemeanor DUI. Liotta was released on $15,000 bail and a court date was set for March 2007. Liotta was alone in his car, and no one was injured in the crash.[10][11]


"I've only seen Goodfellas six times. The first time I didn't even feel like I was doing it. I was numb and overwhelmed by it all. I was looking at what they did with the camera. By the third time I got a feel for it. But to this day when it's on TV or something.. I don't watch myself. Some actors can do that, but I cannot. I don't think you can be objective".
      — Liotta in a March 2007 interview with Maxim[12]


Year Film Role Notes
1983 The Lonely Lady Joe Heron
1986 Something Wild Ray Sinclair Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
1988 Arena Brains The Artist Short film
Dominick and Eugene Eugene 'Gino' Luciano
1989 Field of Dreams Shoeless Joe Jackson
1990 Goodfellas Henry Hill
1992 Article 99 Dr. Richard Sturgess
Unlawful Entry Officer Pete Davis Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best Villain
1994 No Escape Capt. J.T. Robbins
Corrina, Corrina Manny Singer
1995 Operation Dumbo Drop Capt. T.C. Doyle
1996 Unforgettable Dr. David Krane
1997 Turbulence Ryan Weaver
Cop Land Det. Gary 'Figgsy' Figgis
1998 Phoenix Harry Collin
Forever Mine Mark Brice
2000 Pilgrim Jack
A Rumor of Angels Nathan Neubauer
2001 Hannibal Paul Krendler
Heartbreakers Dean Cummano
Blow Fred Jung
2002 Narc Det. Lt. Henry Oak Nominated — Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
Nominated — Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
John Q Chief Gus Monroe
Ticker FBI Agent Short film
2003 Identity Rhodes
2004 The Last Shot Jack Devine
Control Lee Ray Oliver Direct-to-Video Release
2005 Revolver Macha
2006 Comeback Season Walter Pearce
2007 Slow Burn Ford Cole
Even Money Tom Carver
Smokin' Aces Donald Carruthers
Wild Hogs Jack
Bee Movie Himself Voice Role
2008 Local Color John Talia Sr.
In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale Gallian
Battle in Seattle Mayor Jim Tobin
Hero Wanted Det. Terry Subcott
Chasing 3000 Adult Mickey
2009 Crossing Over Cole Frankel
Powder Blue Jack Doheny
Observe and Report Det. Harrison
La Linea Mark Shields
Ticket Out Jim
2010 Youth in Revolt Lance Wescott
Crazy on the Outside Gray
Date Night Joe Miletto
Charlie St. Cloud Florio Ferrente
Snowmen Reggie Kirkfield
Year Title Role Notes
1978–1981 Another World Joey Perrini #2
1980 Hardhat and Legs Family CBS TV-Movie
1983 St. Elsewhere Murray "Episode: Rain"
Casablanca Sacha
1984 Mike Hammer Tony Cable "Episode: Kill Devil"
1985 Our Family Honor Officer Ed Santini
1990 Women and Men: Stories of Seduction Jerry Damon HBO TV-Movie
1991 Women & Men 2: In Love There Are No Rules Martin Meadows HBO TV-Movie
1995 Frasier Bob "Episode: Frasier Grinch"
1998 The Rat Pack Frank Sinatra Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
2001 Family Guy Zack Episode: Brian Does Hollywood
2001, 2002 Just Shoot Me Himself Episode: Christmas? Christmas!
Episode: Liotta? Liotta!
2002 Point of Origin John Leonard Orr/Aaron HBO TV-Movie
2004 ER Charlie Metcalf "Episode: Time of Death"
Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor – Drama Series
Prism Award for Best Performance in a Drama Series Episode
2006–2007 Smith Bobby Stevens
2008 WhoBob WhatPants? Trevor TV special
2010 Hannah Montana Principal Luger Guest Star
Video games
Year Title Role Notes
2002 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Tommy Vercetti G-Phoria Award for Best Male Voice Performance


  1. "Film Interview – Ray Liotta / 『Wild Hogs』 Not Just A Pithy Face". Eventguide.ie. 2007-05-10. Retrieved 2009-07-07. 
  2. "Ray Liotta Biography (1955?-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2009-07-07. 
  3. "Ray Liotta". Movies.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2009-07-07. 
  4. Joan Tarshis and Richard Mclaren. "SMOKE 09/01 - One-on-one with Ray Liotta". Smokemag.com. Retrieved 2009-07-07. 
  5. "Ray Liotta Is Glad He Met His Biological Mother - Starpulse Entertainment News Blog "he discovered he isn't Italian and that he has a half-brother."". Starpulse.com. 2006-10-06. Retrieved 2009-07-07. 
  6. Keier, Helen (2001-03-01). "IGN: Interview with Ray Liotta "I myself am adopted, so I'm not Italian"". IGN. Retrieved ) 2009-07-07.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  7. "HFPA - Awards Search". 1.hfpa.org. Retrieved 2009-07-07. 
  8. "Observe and Report". Observeandreport.com. Retrieved 2009-07-07. 
  9. "Liotta one of the Sox Goodfellas". Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  10. "Yahoo! 404 –Page Not Found". News.yahoo.com. Archived from the original on February 21, 2007. Retrieved 2009-07-07. 
  11. "Ray Liotta arrested". People.monstersandcritics.com. 2007-02-19. Retrieved 2009-07-07. 
  12. "Ray Liotta: American Gangster". Maxim Online. March 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-22. 

External links

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  1. REDIRECT Template:EmmyAward DramaGuestActor 2001–2025

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