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Ray Liotta’s Cause of Death Revealed Nearly 1 Year After ‘Goodfellas’ Actor Died in His Sleep

Actor Ray Liotta’s official cause of death has been revealed nearly one year after his passing.

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The Cocaine Bear actor died from heart and respiratory issues, according to a Monday, May 8, report from TMZ. According to medical documents obtained by the outlet, Liotta’s death was categorized as “natural and nonviolent.” Authorities cited respiratory insufficiency, pulmonary edema and acute heart failure as the reasons for his death.

The documents also noted that Liotta suffered from atherosclerosis, which is a thickening or hardening of the arteries caused by a buildup of fats, cholesterol and other substances on artery walls.

Ray Liottas Cause of Death Revealed After Actor Died in His Sleep
Jason Mendez/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

The Goodfellas star’s death was confirmed to NBC News by his publicist in May 2022. The outlet noted the actor died in his sleep at the age of 67. At the time of his death, Liotta had been working in the Dominican Republic on the upcoming film Dangerous Waters.

“Wow! This truly sucks… RIP Goodfella,” Ice-T tweeted at the time, resharing an obituary from NBC News.

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Kristin Chenoweth, for her part, also paid tribute to Liotta’s role as Henry Hill in the 1990 film, writing via Twitter, “RIP GOODFELLA Ray Liotta. I adored you. I love knowing you all those years ago.”

The Field of Dreams actor had an accomplished film career, beginning with a string of hit movies in the ‘90s and also including starring roles in 1986’s Something WildMarriage Story and on the three-season Shades of Blue series opposite Jennifer Lopez.

“I started out really hot out of the box. Then I’ve definitely had and up-and-down career,” Liotta told NPR in November 2016. “And when things started cooling off again, it frustrated me. So I was just watching what was going on. And that seemed to be the way things started to be going.”

He continued: “I’m a big believer that the script is your bible. And the script — and a good one — tells you everything that you need to know. And I just committed to the script [for Goodfellas]. I learned everything. I learned —I had so much time to learn it. And I was home in New Jersey ’cause my mother was sick at the time. … But also, just the script was great. What Marty [Scorsese] and Nicholas [Pileggi] wrote — I just committed to that, to the words that was on the page.”

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Liotta is survived by his fiancée, Jacy Nittolo, and his daughter Karsen, 24, whom he shares with ex-wife Michelle Grace.

“Christmas wishes do come true. I asked the love of my life to marry me, and thank God she said yes!!!” the New Jersey native wrote via Instagram in December 2020, standing in front of a Christmas tree with Nittolo.

Karsen, in fact, helped introduce him to his fiancée. The late actor revealed during a September 2021 appearance on Live With Kelly and Ryan that Karsen first met Nittolo’s son of the same age at a party. Then, he recalled that Karsen told Nittolo, “I want you to go out with my dad. I think you’d be perfect for my dad.”

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