Each year continues to make the point that no matter what else happens, not everyone is going to make it to the end of December and into the new year. The loss of a celebrity is often a tragic moment no matter if there are extenuating circumstances or their passing is due to natural causes. A loss is a loss, and Ray Liotta is a loss that like many others wasn’t expected, but has to be felt now as the 67-year-old actor reportedly died in his sleep recently. The shock of this loss is no doubt going to be felt for the next few days as many people will possibly be seen taking to social media to offer their condolences to those the actor has left behind. As one of the more notable faces in show business, Ray was undoubtedly among the elite when it came to what he could bring to one movie or another. Throughout his career, he was a solid and reliable presence that always put in the work that was needed, and he was an individual that fans were always happy to see.
The memories of his many different roles tend to range from moments when he played the most despicable characters to when he was nothing short of heroic. The interesting thing about Ray’s heroic characters however is that many times they were anti-heroes, as this appeared to fit his appearance and disposition quite often. A good example was the movie No Escape, in which Ray portrayed a former military figure that had been sent away after murdering one of his commanding officers, and was eventually sent to a prison colony where he had to choose between surviving a life with a savage community versus a life within another encampment that was far more peaceful but no less hardened. The movie was one of those that didn’t create a lot of buzz, but it was a decent action movie that’s worth watching.
When people think of Ray, they often think of movies like Goodfellas, since his portrayal of Henry Hill might not have satisfied several folks that were active during that time, but he definitely turned in a great role that convinced a lot of movie fans that still think highly of the movie. The fact that Ray went so deep into the character is rather impressive, and it did a lot to cement his reputation as one of the best actors in the business. His portrayal as a gangster left an impression that many people took to heart since it was something that defined his character in a way and made him stand out among quite a few people in the business. While this wasn’t the only role he took on during his time in the movies, Ray managed to come off as a tough guy more often than not and it worked for him in a big way, but he was also known as the type of guy that could come off as serious but not too severe. His role in Field of Dreams as Shoeless Joe Jackson was great since he was a serious character, but he still had a decent sense of humor that allowed him to be a relatable character.
This could also be said of his role as Agent Donald Carruthers in Smokin’ Aces since his time spent with Ryan Reynolds as his costar might have been brief, but it was convincing. Over the course of his career, it could be said that Ray was one of those who quickly became one of the elder statesmen of the business, as his level of swagger was, after a while, something that was had to miss but was easy to be impressed by. Stating the obvious, that he was an individual that people looked up to and respected in a very real way, it goes without saying that Ray was one of the few that could go away for a while and then come back at any given time and still have the same level of respect from the fans that he’d left with. That’s incredibly impressive since it indicates that people managed to embrace his acting in a way that can only be described as absolute loyalty.
It’s a sad day when one has to say goodbye to any well-liked celebrity, but the truth is that it’s happened many times before, and it will continue to happen as the years roll by. Ray Liotta was a treasured actor that stepped into and out of the spotlight several times during his career, but he always had the support of the fans whenever he needed it. As one of the many actors that people couldn’t get enough of, Ray’s memory is bound to be one that will be held for a long time to come. Rest in peace sir, you’ll be missed.