Legendary actor Ray Liotta died at the age of 67, and baseball fans gathered on social media to remember him.
Actors are lucky enough to have one iconic role they are remembered for. Ray Liotta had more than we were perhaps willing to admit him while he was alive.
Liotta will likely always be remembered most for his portrayal of Henry Hill in the Martin Scorsese classic Goodfellas, and for good reason. It’s one of the best films ever made, and the role propelled Liotta into superstardom. But Goodfellas wasn’t his first appearance on screen, and for many, it’s not the first film they’re recalling in the wake of his death this week at the age of 67.
A year before his iconic turn as someone who for as long as they could remember always wanted to be a gangster, Liotta played a character on the polar opposite of the spectrum (albeit with a sprinkle of Mafia dust).
Liotta starred as Shoeless Joe Jackson in what is arguably the greatest baseball movie ever made, Field of Dreams. Better sports movies have been made, both technically and creatively, but Field of Dreams conjures up the type of sappy romanticism that baseball lore is laced with.
If Ken Burns’ Baseball documentary was a person, it would have made Field of Dreams.
Ray Liotta dies: Fans remember his iconic role in Field of Dreams
Liotta’s role quite literally comes out of leftfield in the film. In the hands of a different actor, his scenes are just another in a long line of desperate awards reel monologues, but not in the hands of Liotta. Every ounce of emotion is earned through and authentic sincerity tinged with an icy edge of mystery. He’s on a literal field of dreams, yet Liotta’s Jackson is beautifully and tragically portrayed as a man haunted by his unfulfilled dreams.
His role in Field Of Dreams was small, but the impact it left still resonates over three decades later.
Fans of Liotta took to Twitter to remember him for this role, and the many others he gave us over the years.
Ray Liotta was 67.