Howard Remembers ‘Goodfellas’ Star Ray Liotta

“When you think of a man, he was manly man,” co-host Robin Quivers says of veteran actor and past Stern Show guest

June 7, 2022

Ray Liotta, who wowed audiences with his portrayal of former mobster Henry Hill in the seminal gangster movie “Goodfellas,” recently passed away suddenly in his sleep in the Dominican Republic, where he was filming a movie. He was 67. On Tuesday, Howard and co-host Robin Quivers paid tribute to the actor and former Stern Show guest.

“Martin Scorsese said working with Ray was great and he was such a good actor,” Howard noted of the “Goodfellas” director’s reaction to Liotta’s passing. “Even as he got older … he was doing some recent work where people were like, ‘Man, he played some scary characters. He’s a good actor.’”

“He did that project with J.Lo … and he was so good,” Robin added of his work on Jennifer Lopez’s NBC police drama “Shades of Blue,” which ran from 2016-2018. “When you think of a man, he was a manly man.”

Getting his start in soap operas as Joey Perrini in “Another World,” Liotta went on to earn a Golden Globe nomination for his work in “Something Wild” and also starred as Shoeless Joe Jackson in “Field of Dreams.” The actor eventually scored the lead role in “Goodfellas” but, as he told Howard in 2001, he had to fight for it. “I chased down ‘Goodfellas,’” he admitted at the time. “[Marty] was auditioning other people and I saw him in Venice at the Venice Film Festival, and I just chased him down there.”

For Howard, who had the real Henry Hill on the show several times over the years, Liotta’s interpretation was accurate even down to the laugh, which he believes stood out in the film’s iconic “Funny how?” scene with Joe Pesci. “Ray’s laugh really comes through,” Howard remarked of the performance.