Ray Liotta was an American actor and film producer and was popularly known for his roles in Field of Dreams and Goodfellas. He had quite a successful career and truly made a name in the industry. But did you know he was not actually Italian?
Ray Liotta was not Italian; he had been adopted as an infant by an Italian man and his wife, but when he met his birth mother in his forties, he discovered he was of Scottish blood.
The Life of Ray Liotta
Ray Liotta was an American film producer and actor. He appeared in several films, including Something Wild, Dominick and Eugene, Field of Dreams, Goodfellas, Unlawful Entry, Corrina, Corrina, Cop Land, and many more. He even portrayed some Italian-American characters.
Liotta was adopted at six months by Mary Miller, a township clerk, and Alfred Liotta, an auto parts store owner and the president of a local Democratic Party club. Frank or Francesco Liotta, his adoptive father, was the son of Italian immigrants Maryanne or Marianna Crescimanno and Frank or Francesco Liotta. His biological mother was born in Scotland to Scottish parents. Ray grew up in Union, New Jersey.
Liotta stated that he was not of Italian ancestry by birth but did have Scottish ancestors.
My birth mother said she was a mix of something, and when I asked about what my Dad was, she wouldn’t even talk about it. It was like it never even happened.Ray Liotta
(Source: Ethnic Celebs)
How Did Ray Liotta Gain Popularity in the Industry?
When the camera zooms in on Liotta’s face, bathed in the infernal red glow of a car’s brake lights, he is seen taking part in the fatal knifing of a mob rival. He oozes a charred handsomeness and a chilling self-belief, making him both seductive and terrifying. Although Goodfellas was only his fourth significant film role, Liotta was seen for most of the film’s two-and-a-half-hour runtime.
As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster.Ray Liotta
He held his own against veteran co-stars such as Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, who played fellow hoods. His lively, feisty chemistry with Lorraine Bracco, who played Henry’s wife, Karen, added valuable warmth to the intense, at times harrowing material.
Goodfellas established Liotta as a star, but he had already delivered an enthralling performance in Something Wild, his first lead role. He was 30 years old when he was cast in the role of Ray Sinclair, a thug who terrorizes his free-spirited ex-wife, Audrey, after being released from prison.
Jonathan Demme’s masterful comedy-thriller is divided into two parts, with Liotta bearing the brunt of the audacious shift from high-jinks to horror.
His mercurial quality, gift for stillness, and arctic blue eyes were all assets in portraying a brute who remains compellingly human.
It didn’t hurt that Liotta was an unknown quantity to those who hadn’t seen him on television during his three years as the nicest guy in the world on the soap opera Another World.
In later years, he often insisted that he had been unfairly pigeonholed as a villain or a gangster. For that reason, he turned down a part in the third series of The Sopranos, though he did appear in the show’s movie prequel. Liotta died unexpectedly at the age of 67. (Source: The Guardian )