Date of Birth : Dec 18th 1954
Ray Liotta was adopted at six months of age by Alfred and Mary Liotta. He has one sister, Linda, who was adopted three years later. The two of them were raised in Union, New Jersey where Ray attended Union High. He was a star athlete and admits to being quite the jock, participating mainly in basketball and soccer. When not in school, Ray spent time working at his parent’s automotive store.
After high school, Ray went on to major in Drama at the University of Miami, graduating with a BA in Fine Arts in 1977. While he was there he was involved in numerous stage productions, including “The Sound of Music”, “Cabaret”, “Death of a Salesman” and “A Streetcar named Desire”.
Ray’s first major acting role was that of Joey Perrini on the day time soap, “Another World”. A part he played from 1978 to 1981. His transition to feature films came with his portrayal of the vicious ex-con Ray Sinclair in Jonathan Demme’s dark comedic thriller “Something Wild”. His performance won him the Boston Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor and a Golden Globe nomination.
Intense is the word for Ray Liotta. He specializes in psychopathic characters who hide behind a cultivated charm. Even in his nice guy roles in Field of Dreams (1989) and Operation Dumbo Drop (1995), you get the impression that something is smoldering inside of him. Liotta maintains a steady stream of work, completing multiple projects per year. Ray Liotta studied acting at the University of Miami, where he became friends with Steven Bauer (Scarface (1983), Thief of Hearts (1984)). He spent his first years acting in TV: “Another World” (1964), a TV movie and several short-lived series. He broke into movies with the black comedy Something Wild (1986), which garnered him rave reviews. Originally unable to get a reading, he was recommended for the part by Melanie Griffith (then married to Bauer). After the success of “Something Wild” he received more offers in the “psycho” vein, but refused them to avoid being typecast. Instead, he made “little movies” like Dominick and Eugene (1988) (which earned him standing as an actor’s actor) and Field of Dreams (1989) (whose success still surprises him). When he heard that Martin Scorsese was casting Goodfellas (1990), he lobbied hard for the part of Henry Hill. The film’s huge success brought him wide popularity and enabled him to get star billing in future films (Article 99 (1992), Unlawful Entry (1992), Unforgettable (1996)).