Ray Liotta, known for his role as Henry Hill in “Goodfellas” and Shoeless Joe Jackson in “Field of Dreams,” died on Friday. Liotta, a University of Miami alumnus, found his passion for theater and cinematic arts here on UM’s campus.
While at UM, Liotta—a New Jersey native—starred in musicals such as “Cabaret,” “Dames at Sea,” “Oklahoma ” and “Sound of Music.” The aspiring star graduated from UM in 1971 with a bachelors of fine arts.
Shortly after graduating from the U, Liotta secured his first big role in 1978 on the soap opera “Another World.” Liotta then went on to build a prominent career in cinema. In 2005 he was awarded an Emmy for his guest role in “ER” and in 1987 he was nominated for his role in “Something Wild.”
“While I never met Mr. Liotta, I admired his work,” said professor and Chair for Theatre Arts at UM, Jennifer Burke. “The Department of Theatre Arts was proud to claim him as a Miami Hurricane.”
Liotta died in his sleep while filming the movie “Dangerous Waters” in the Dominican Republic, he was 67-years-old.
Liotta leaves behind a daughter, Karsen, along with many adoring fans who will never forget his lasting influence on the world of cinema.
“Though he wasn’t the biggest star, Ray Liotta leaves behind many performances in films like ‘Goodfellas’ and ‘Field of Dreams’ that I will remember for the rest of my life,” said Chase Rennigner, a member of Delta Kappa Alpha, the film fraternity on campus, and senior studying film. “I hope others in the UM community are able to appreciate his contributions to the art of film and how special his talents were.”