By Lisa Respers France, CNN
The shocking death of Ray Liotta caused an outpouring of grief in Hollywood.
Liotta was working on a project in the Dominican Republic and died in his sleep, his publicist told CNN Thursday. He was 67.
His role as real-life mobster Henry Hill in “Goodfellas” was one of his most famous. The film’s director, Martin Scorsese, said in a statement to People that he was “absolutely shocked and devastated by the sudden, unexpected death of Ray Liotta.”
“He was so uniquely gifted, so adventurous, so courageous as an actor. 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,” the statement read. “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.”
Co-star Robert De Niro said: “I was very saddened to learn of Ray’s passing. He is way too young to have left us.”
Lorraine Bracco played Hill’s wife in the film and on Thursday tweeted that she was “utterly shattered to hear this terrible news about my Ray.”
“I can be anywhere in the world & people will come up & tell me their favorite movie is Goodfellas,” she wrote. “Then they always ask what was the best part of making that movie. My response has always been the same…Ray Liotta.”
Another “Goodfellas” co-star, Debi Mazar, wrote on Instagram: “Goodbye Ray..Thankyou for the memories,your generosity at work,your wicked sense of humor,your raw grit&lazer stare. You had me at ‘Dominick & Eugene’ One of a kind. ..”
Kevin Costner starred with Liotta in the movie “Field of Dreams” and tweeted his condolences.
“Devastated to hear the news of Ray Liotta’s passing. While he leaves an incredible legacy, he’ll always be ‘Shoeless Joe Jackson’ in my heart,” Costner wrote along with a clip of a the two of them in the film. “What happened that moment in the film was real. God gave us that stunt. Now God has Ray.”
His “Shades of Blue” co-star Jennifer Lopez tweeted that Liotta was “the epitome of a tough guy who was all mushy on the inside.”
“We shared some intense moments on set those three years!” she wrote. “When I first heard he took the job on Shades of Blue I was thrilled, and the first time we walked on set to do our first scene together there was an electric spark and a mutual respect and we both knew this was going to be good.
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