Palisadian Ray Liotta Will Be Honored Posthumously with a Hollywood Star

Ray Liotta,
(Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal)

Award-winning actor and former Highlands resident, Ray Liotta will be honored posthumously by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce at 12:30 p.m. on February 24, with the 2,749th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Liotta’s star will be accepted by his daughter Karsen Liotta (a Palisades High School graduate), and will be located at 6201 Hollywood. The event will be livestreamed (walkoffame.com).

“Ray Liotta’s all-around career made him a triple threat and sadly his passing was devastating to the entertainment world,” said Ana Martinez, Producer of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In addition to his daughter, also at the unveiling  will be actress Elizabeth Banks and actor Taron Egerton.

Banks directed the dark comedy, Cocaine Bear, one of Liotta’s final films before his death. Egerton played Liotta’s son in Black Bird, which was Liotta’s final TV role.

With more than 60 feature films to his credit, Ray Liotta exceled at diverse and challenging roles in both comedy and drama.

He was born December 18, 1954, in New Jersey. He was adopted from an orphanage when he was six months old by Mary and Alfred Liotta, an auto parts retailer.

In 2012, he told the Hollywood Reporter he “played pretend games as a kid, army, whatever, but I never wanted to be an actor.

“Basically, I just played sports all the time. Basketball, baseball, football, you know, whatever the season was. But I remember senior year (in high school), basketball had stopped, and the drama teacher asked me if I wanted to be in the play. So, ‘alright, I’m not doing anything, I’m used to hanging around anyway, sure, I’ll be in the play.’”

Liotta studied acting at the University of Miami, graduating in 1978. He landed his first role on the soap opera Another World as nice guy Joey Perrini.

Sometime after, Liotta landed the role of Ray Sinclair in Jonathan Demme’s Something Wild, and with his sizzling performance, earned a Golden Globe Award-nomination.

Liotta followed this by playing the title character of Eugene opposite Tom Hulce in Dominick and Eugene, and then the iconic role of Shoeless Joe Jackson opposite Kevin Costner in Oscar-nominated, Field of Dreams.

The role that brought Liotta widespread acclaim was his portrayal of real-life mobster Henry Hill in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas, starring opposite Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. His performance helped the film earn a Best Picture Academy Award nomination.

Liotta created notable performances in films like Copland opposite Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone, Hannibal opposite Anthony Hopkins, Heartbreakers with Sigourney Weaver and Blow opposite Johnny Depp.

He produced and starred in the intense cop drama Narc with director Joe Carnahan. The film received critical acclaim and earned Liotta an Independent Spirit Award nomination for his searing performance as character Henry Oak.

Liotta starred in Identity with John Cusack, and starred opposite Whoopi Goldberg in Corrina, Corrina.

The versatile actor was in the comedy, Wild Hogs opposite John Travolta, Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence, and William H. Macy.

Liotta won an Emmy award for his searing performance in ER, playing an alcoholic ex-con who succumbs to a cirrhosis related illness.  He also starred in HBO’s The Rat Pack as the iconic, ‘Ol Blue Eyes’…‘Frank Sinatra’. This portrayal earned him a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Best Actor.

Jennifer Lopez and Ray Liotta star in the NBC series “Shades of Blue.” Photo:

The actor starred opposite Jennifer Lopez in the crime drama series Shades of Blue on NBC and, more recently, he starred in the Apple TV+ limited series Black Bird alongside Taron Egerton, and Paul Walter Hauser, for which he received a Critics Choice Award nomination.

Liotta received a Distinguished Performance honor at the 70th Annual Drama League Awards for his Broadway debut in Match.

He starred in Steven Soderbergh’s No Sudden Move, and The Many Saints of Newark. The former film was a prequel to the HBO series The Sopranos created by David Chase.

His newest film, Cocaine Bear, opens in theaters on February 24, the same day as Liotta’s star ceremony.

(Editor’s note: Liotta threw out the opening pitch for the PPBA in 2006. This editor wrote “Liotta went straight from the Palisades Recreation Center’s Field of Dreams complex to a 10:30 a.m. rehearsal with Virginia Madsen for a new hour-long drama series ‘Smith.’ Filming is scheduled to begin this week on location in Pittsburgh.”)

 

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