Martin Scorsese Pays Tribute to 'Goodfellas' Star Ray Liotta

The film world has been rocked by the sudden death of beloved actor Ray Liotta, who passed away Thursday at the age of 67. Now, Martin Scorsese, who directed Liotta in Goodfellas, has paid tribute to the fallen film star.  "I'm absolutely shocked and devastated by the sudden, unexpected death of Ray Liotta," Scorsese told PEOPLE. "He was so uniquely gifted, so adventurous, so courageous as an actor."

Scorsese continued, "Playing Henry Hill in Goodfellas was a tall order, because the character had so many different facets, so many complicated layers, and Ray was in almost every scene of a long, tough shoot. He absolutely amazed me, and I'll always be proud of the work we did together on that picture. My heart goes out to his loved ones, and it aches for his loss, way too early." Liotta's Goodfellas costars Robert De Niro and Paul Sorvino also issued statements to PEOPLE, with De Niro writing, "I was very saddened to learn of Ray's passing. He is way too young to have left us." Sorvino added, "Ray was a terrific actor and a 'goodfella' in the best sense of the word. He was great to work with and a good friend. I'm really going to miss him."

Lorraine Bracco, who also starred in Goodfellas, spoke out about Liotta's death on Twitter, saying she was "utterly shattered" by the terrible news. "I can be anywhere in the world & people will come up & tell me their favorite movie is Goodfellas," she wrote in a tweet that included a photo of her and Liotta. "Then they always ask what was the best part of making that movie. My response has always been the same...Ray Liotta."

In addition to his iconic role in Goodfellas, Liotta starred in numerous high-profile films, including Something Wild (1986), which earned multiple award nominations. Field of Dreams, Cop Land, Hannibal, Narc, Killing Them Softly, Marriage Story, and The Many Saints of Newark are just a handful of other notable films from Liotta's lengthy repertoire. Liotta did quite a lot of TV work as well, and even won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for a role on ER in the early 2000s.


According to reports, Liotta died in his sleep on May 26 while in the Dominican Republic. He was on-location filming a new movie, Dangerous Waters. At this time, no cause of death has been reported. Liotta is served by one daughter, who he shared with ex-wife Michelle Grace, and his fiancée Jacy Nittolo.