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Ray Liotta death: Robert De Niro, Jennifer Lopez and Ed Sheeran pay tribute to Goodfellas star

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Tributes are pouring in for Ray Liotta after it was reported the actor died suddenly on Thursday (26 May). He was 67.

Liotta, who was best known for his leading role in Martin Scorsese’s 1990 crime classic Goodfellas, died in his sleep in the Dominican Republic while shooting a new film.

Liotta’s publicist confirmed the news in a statement that read: “There was nothing suspicious about the death, and no foul play is suspected.”

Robert De Niro, who starred alongside Liotta in Goodfellas, is one of the most prominent figures to have paid tribute.

“I was very saddened to learn of Ray’s passing,” the actor said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “He is way too way young to have left us. May he Rest in Peace.”

Jennifer Lopez, who acted with Liotta in drama series Shades of Blue, referred to him as her "partner in crime" in her messages about him.

"The first thing that comes to mind is he so was kind to my children," the actor and singer tweeted. "Ray was the epitome of a tough guy who was all mushy on the inside… I guess that’s what made him such a compelling actor to watch."

Jennifer Lopez pays tribute to Ray Liotta (Twitter / Jennifer Lopez)
Jennifer Lopez pays tribute to Ray Liotta (Twitter / Jennifer Lopez)

Elsewhere, Ed Sheeran called Liotta "such a fun guy" in his tribute, having worked together for his 2015 music video for the song "Bloodstream".

"So very sad to hear of Ray Liotta’s passing," he wrote. "I got to work with him on the 'Bloodstream' music video with Emil Nava, and got hung out with him at gigs.

"He was such a fun guy, so so sweet, and I loved being around him. Goodfellas will always be my favourite movie. Will raise a toast tonight for him.”

Seth Rogen expressed his disbelief over Liotta’s death, remembering the actor as a “lovely, talented and hilarious person.”

“Working with him was one of the great joys of my career and we made some of my favourite scenes I ever got to be in. A true legend of immense skill and grace,” Rogen, who was cast alongside Liotta in 2009 black comedy Observe and Report, tweeted.

How to Get Away with Murder star Viola Davis wrote: “RIP Ray Liotta!! Loved your work,” with a heart emoji.

Jeffrey Wright tweeted about the time he was able to meet Liotta for “the first time last year.”

“GREAT actor,” The French Dispatch actor tweeted, adding that it was “nice to have had a chance to say that to him.”

In recent years, Liotta had undergone a resurgence in popularity, appearing in projects such as The Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newarkfor which he played two roles – and the Noah Baumbach film Marriage Story.

Liotta’s The Many Saints of Newark co-star Alessandro Nivola reacted to the news with a tweet that read: “I feel so lucky to have squared off against this legend in one of his final roles. The scenes we did together were among the all time highlights of my acting career.

“He was dangerous, unpredictable, hilarious, and generous with his praise for other actors. Too soon,” he added.

Lorraine Bracco said she was “utterly shattered” by the news of her Goodfellas co-star’s death – “my Ray”. Bracco played the role of Faith Hill, wife of mob associate Henry Hill (Liotta), on the Scorcese classic.

She wrote: “I can be anywhere in the world and people will come up & tell me their favorite movie is Goodfellas. Then they always ask what was the best part of making that movie. My response has always been the same…Ray Liotta.”

Piers Morgan reacted to the “sad news” on Twitter, writing: “Brilliant actor, loved him in Goodfellas.

The Princess Bride star Cary Elwes remembered Liotta as “an extraordinary talent whose remarkable performances left an indelible mark on the screen”, offering his “deepest condolences” to Liotta’s family.

The actor is survived by his daughter, Karsen. Before his death, he was engaged to to be married to Jacy Nittolo.

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