Ray Liotta

Raymond Allen Liotta (Italian: [liˈɔtta]; born December 18, 1954)[1] is an American actor, voice actor and film producer.

Ray Liotta
Raymond Allen Liotta

(1954-12-18) December 18, 1954
Alma materUniversity of Miami
OccupationActor, voice actor, film producer
Years active1978–present
Michelle Grace
(m. 1997; div. 2004)

Liotta is known for playing Henry Hill in the crime drama Goodfellas (1990). His other roles include Ray Sinclair in Jonathan Demme's Something Wild (1986), for which he received a Golden Globe nomination, Shoeless Joe Jackson in Field of Dreams (1989), Officer Pete Davis in Unlawful Entry (1992), Officer Gary Figgis in Cop Land (1997), Paul Krendler in Hannibal (2001), Fred Jung in Blow (2001), Tommy Vercetti in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002), Chief Gus Monroe in John Q (2002), Samuel Rhodes in Identity (2003), himself in Bee Movie (2007), Markie Trattman in Killing Them Softly (2012), and Peter Deluca in The Place Beyond the Pines (2012).

He also starred as Lieutenant Matt Wozniak in the television drama Shades of Blue (2016–2018).

Early life

Liotta was born in Newark, New Jersey,[1] and adopted at the age of six months by Mary Liotta, an appointed township clerk,[2] and Alfred Liotta,[3][4] son of Italian immigrants and an auto-parts store owner, personnel director, and the president of a local Democratic club.[2][5] His adoptive parents each unsuccessfully ran for local office.[6] He has a sister, Linda Liotta, who is also adopted.

Liotta has said he knew he was adopted as a young child and presented a show-and-tell report on it for kindergarten.[7] Liotta located his biological mother in the 2000s and learned his birth ancestry is "mostly Scottish."[8][9] He has one half brother, five half sisters, and a full sister.[10][7]

Liotta was raised Roman Catholic, although his family was not very religious.[11] 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.[11]

Liotta's parents were both Democrats. Liotta recalls attending parades handing out flyers for his father's run for Township Committee.[7]

He graduated from Union High School[12] in 1973 in Union, New Jersey where he grew up.[8]

Liotta graduated from the University of Miami, where he received a degree in fine arts in 1978 and studied acting with Robert "Buckets" Lowery.[13] 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.[14]


After college, Liotta moved to New York City. He got a job as a bartender at the Shubert theatres and landed an agent within six months.[8]

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 1983's The Lonely Lady. His first major acting role was Something Wild (1986),[7][15] which earned him his first Golden Globe nomination.[16] In 1989, Liotta portrayed the ghost of famed baseball player Shoeless Joe Jackson in the fantasy/drama film Field of Dreams.[17]

In 1990, Liotta portrayed real-life mobster Henry Hill in Martin Scorsese's critically acclaimed and commercially successful film Goodfellas.[8]

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 science-fiction/action film No Escape. In 1996, he starred with Linda Fiorentino and Peter Coyote in the sci-fi/thriller Unforgettable. Liotta earned critical praise for his turn in James Mangold's 1997 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.[18]

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), starred as himself in the sitcom Just Shoot Me in December 2001 & January 2002, 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". The ER role earned Liotta an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (Liotta later spoofed 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.

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, 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.

Liotta appeared with John Travolta in the movie Wild Hogs, in Battle in Seattle as the city's mayor, and in 2008, starred in Hero Wanted as a detective alongside Cuba Gooding Jr. Also in 2008, he made a guest appearance on the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "What Ever Happened to SpongeBob?"; in the episode, he voices the sadistic leader of a gang called the Bubble Poppin’ Boys, who try to kill an amnesiac SpongeBob (voiced by Tom Kenny) because bubble blowing is illegal in New Kelp City, but they get blown away by him, and SpongeBob becomes the new mayor of the city; the episode also had Liotta work with another legendary actor, Clancy Brown, who voices Mr. Krabs on the show, although their characters don't share any screen credit. 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.

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).

In 2014, Liotta played a preacher in the faith-based film The Identical.[14][24]

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]

In 2016, Liotta began starring opposite Jennifer Lopez in Shades of Blue.

In 2018, Liotta became a spokesperson for Pfizer's Chantix advertising campaign.[26]

Personal life

Liotta married actress Michelle Grace in February 1997 after they met at her former husband Mark Grace's professional baseball game.[27] Together they co-starred in The Rat Pack, in which Liotta played Frank Sinatra and Grace played Judith Campbell Exner. They have a daughter.[8] The couple divorced in 2004.[2][8]

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."[7]

On February 19, 2007, Liotta was arrested for driving under the influence after crashing his Cadillac Escalade into two parked vehicles in Pacific Palisades.[28] He pleaded no contest.[29]



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 (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
Unlawful Entry Officer Pete Davis Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Villain
Corrina, Corrina Manny Singer
1994 No Escape Captain J.T. Robbins
1995 Operation Dumbo Drop Captain T.C. Doyle
1996 Unforgettable Dr. David Krane
1997 Turbulence Ryan Weaver
Cop Land Detective Gary "Figgsy" Figgis
1998 Phoenix Harry Collins Also co-producer
1999 Muppets from Space Gate Guard # 1 Cameo
Forever Mine Mark Brice
2000 Pilgrim Jack
A Rumor of Angels Nathan Neubauer
2001 Hannibal Paul Krendler
Heartbreakers Dean Cummano / Vinny Staggliano
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
John Q Chief Gus Monroe
Ticker FBI Agent Segment for the BMW short film series The Hire
2003 Identity Samuel Rhodes
2004 The Last Shot Jack Devine
Control Lee Ray Oliver Direct-to-DVD
2005 Revolver Dorothy Macha
Slow Burn Ford Cole Also co-executive producer
2006 Even Money Tom Carver
Take the Lead Executive producer
Local Color John Talia Sr.
Comeback Season Walter Pearce
Smokin' Aces Donald Carruthers
2007 Wild Hogs Jack
In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale Gallian
Battle in Seattle Mayor Jim Tobin
Bee Movie Himself (voice)
2008 Hero Wanted Detective Terry Subcott
Powder Blue Jack Doheny
2009 Crossing Over Cole Frankel
Observe and Report Detective Harrison
La Linea Mark Shields Also executive producer
Youth in Revolt Lance Wescott
2010 Crazy on the Outside Gray
Date Night Joe Miletto Uncredited
Snowmen Reggie Kirkfield Also executive producer
Chasing 3000 Adult Mickey
Charlie St. Cloud Florio Ferrente
2011 The Details Peter Mazzoni
The Son of No One Captain Marion Mathers
All Things Fall Apart Dr. Brintall
Street Kings 2: Motor City Marty Kingston Direct-to-DVD
The River Murders Jack Verdon
Field of Dreams 2: Lockout Roger Goodell Short film
The Entitled Richard Nader
2012 Wanderlust Himself Cameo
Killing Them Softly Markie Trattman
Breathless Sheriff Cooley
The Iceman Roy DeMeo
The Place Beyond the Pines Deluca
Ticket Out Jim
Yellow Afai
Bad Karma Molloy
Dear Dracula Count Dracula (voice) Direct-to-DVD
2013 The Devil's in the Details Dr. Robert Michaels
Pawn Man in the Suit
Suddenly Todd Shaw
2014 Better Living Through Chemistry Jack Roberts
Muppets Most Wanted Big Papa
The Identical Reece Wade Also executive producer
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For Joey
Revenge of the Green Dragons Michael Bloom
Stretch Himself Cameo
Kill the Messenger John Cullen
2015 Blackway Blackway
Campus Code Bartender
2016 Sticky Notes Jack
Flock of Dudes Uncle Reed
2019 Marriage Story Jay Marotta
2020 The Many Saints of Newark Post-production
TBA Broken Soldier Mr. Ancilla Post-production
El Tonto Post-production
Hubie Halloween[30] Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1980 Hardhat and Legs Family Television film
1980–1981 Another World Joey Perrini #2 8 episodes
1981 Crazy Times Johnny "Wizard" Lazarra Television film
1983 St. Elsewhere Murray Episode: "Rain"
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 The 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"
2001–2002 Just Shoot Me! Himself 2 episodes
2002 Point of Origin John Leonard Orr Television film
2003 Saturday Night Live Himself (host) Episode: "Ray Liotta/The Donnas"
2004 ER Charlie Metcalf Episode: "Time of Death"
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
2006–2007 Smith Bobby Stevens 7 episodes
2008 SpongeBob SquarePants Leader of the Bubble Poppin Boys Gang (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"
Abominable Christmas Abominable Dad (voice) Television film
2014 The Money George Archer 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
2015–2016 The Making of the Mob Narrator (voice) 16 episodes
2016–2018 Shades of Blue Lieutenant Matt Wozniak 36 episodes
2016 Modern Family Himself Episode: "Playdates"
2017 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Paulie Fiuccillo Episode: "Kimmy Pulls Off a Heist!"
Young Sheldon Vincent Episode: "A Solar Calculator, a Game Ball, and a Cheerleader's Bosom"
2018 Great News Himself Episode: "Early Retirement"
The Simpsons Morty Szyslak (voice) Episode: "King Leer"

Video games

Year Title Voice role Notes
2002 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Tommy Vercetti G-Phoria Award for Best Male Voice Performance
Spike Video Game Award for Best Performance
2013 Call of Duty: Black Ops II Billy Handsome Mob of the Dead


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"[31] × by Ed Sheeran and Rudimental[32]


  1. "Ray Liotta Biography: Film Actor, Television Actor, Television Personality (1954–)". Biography.com (FYI / A&E Networks). Archived from the original on May 26, 2016. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  2. "Ray Liotta". Biography. Lifetime TV. Archived from the original on May 20, 2016. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  3. "Raymond Liotta - United States Public Records, 1970-2009". FamilySearch. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  4. "Mary E Liotta - United States Public Records, 1970-2009". FamilySearch. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  5. "Ray Liotta profile". Film Reference. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
  6. "Ray Liotta". Movies.yahoo.com. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
  7. King, Larry (September 3, 2014). "Ray Liotta". Larry King Now. Ora. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  8. Whitty, Stephen (November 25, 2012). "Ray Liotta on 'Goodfellas,' mob movies, Jersey and more". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  9. "Ray Liotta Is Glad He Met His Biological Mother". Star Pulse. October 6, 2006. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved September 14, 2014.
  10. Evans, Suzy (September 4, 2014). "Ray Liotta Filmed 'The Identical' Because of His Own Adoption Experience". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  11. 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.
  12. Kratch, James (September 1, 2012). "Football previews, 2012: Union". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  13. Marr, Madeleine (September 5, 2014). "Ray Liotta dug deep to play a preacher in 'The Identical'". Miami Herald. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  14. Camilleri, Ricky (September 4, 2014). "Ray Liotta LIVE" (Video interview). Huffington Post. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  15. 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.
  16. "HFPA—Awards Search". Hollywood Foreign Press. Archived from the original on September 26, 2007. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
  17. Goldman, Steven (April 23, 2014). "'Field of Dreams': Worst baseball film of all time". SBNation.com.
  18. THOMAS, KEVIN (September 4, 1998). "Liotta Arises as a Winner in Hard-Hitting 'Phoenix'". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  19. Gans, Andrew (November 14, 2003). "Frank Langella to Join Ray Liotta for Broadway's Match". Playbill. Archived from the original on September 14, 2014. 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. Richford, Rhonda. "Deauville: Ray Liotta Reflects on Career, Box Office Beating of 'The Identical'". The 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. Archived from the original on January 3, 2016. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  26. Bulik, Beth Snyder (July 6, 2018). "Goodfellas star Ray Liotta's new line? A quit-smoking pitch for Pfizer's Chantix". FiercePharma. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  27. Longsdorf, Amy. "Ray Liotta finds intense adrenaline rush in 'Narc'". Pottstown Mercury. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  28. "Under The Influence". CBS News. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  29. Markovitz, Adam. "News Monitor". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  30. N'Duka, Amanda (July 22, 2019). "Adam Sandler Sets Next Netflix Comedy With All-Star Cast Including Kevin James, Julie Bowen, Maya Rudolph & Many More". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  31. "Ed Sheeran & Rudimental "Bloodstream" [Official Music Video YTMAs]". YouTube. March 23, 2015. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  32. 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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