Transcript for Remembering Ray Liotta
RAY LIOTTA: (VOICEOVER) As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster.
JASON NATHANSON: This morning, a notorious on screen tough guy being remembered for his kindness-- Ray Liotta, who starred alongside Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci in Goodfellas, the pre- Sopranos mobster movie about Henry Hill, who earned his stripes by helping pull off one of the biggest heists in history, for real.
- There's something very energizing about playing pretend with people who really are in it.
JASON NATHANSON: One of those people was Lorraine Bracco, who played Henry's wife in the film. She tweeted that she is utterly shattered and that fans always ask what was the best part of making that movie. "My response has always been the same, Ray Liotta."
By the time he was in Goodfellas, Liotta had already established himself as a Hollywood heavy hitter on Field of Dreams, in which he played another real character, Shoeless Joe Jackson, back from the dead and spilling the beans about his role in fixing a World Series for gamblers.
- Getting thrown out of baseball was like having part of me amputated.
JASON NATHANSON: Liotta got his start right out of college in 1980 on the soap opera Another World before gaining fame in 1986 playing ex-con Ray Sinclair opposite Melanie Griffith in Something Wild. Over the years he's starred in countless other films from Copland to Karina Karina and opposite Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt in Heartbreakers.
- Yeah, right, you let your own daughter seduce me? Do you have any idea how much therapy you people need?
JASON NATHANSON: Liotta became a hero to a new generation of fans as a voice in the video game, Grand Theft Auto. He had recently been enjoying a career resurgence, reviving his mafioso persona playing two roles in the movie prequel to The Sopranos, The Many Saints of Newark. I asked him just eight months ago if he'd be open to playing a role in a possible TV spinoff.
- I'm open to everything, you know. Let's-- who's doing it, and then what they want me to do. It's one thing you learn is the key-- I think I was a little too precious with my career early on, where I wanted to really make sure that I wasn't getting typecast.
JASON NATHANSON: Liotta died in his sleep in a bed at a hotel in the Dominican Republic where he'd been filming a new movie, Dangerous Waters. He reportedly died right next to his fiance Jacy Nittolo. His cause of death remains unclear.
Jason Nathanson, ABC News, Hollywood.
- Storied career cut short indeed. He was born in Newark in 1954, abandoned by his mother and then adopted by his orphan parents, graduated from the University of Miami and became an acting legend.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.