Ray Liotta’s Union Hometown to Honor Him After Death

"At this time, the Township of Union is exploring various options on how best to honor/remember Ray Liotta," Mayor Manuel Figueiredo said.

Ray Liotta
Ray Liotta played Shoeless Joe Jackson in "Field of Dreams." Photo courtesy of Universal/Photofest

Ray Liotta’s Union, New Jersey hometown is set to honor the iconic actor following his death on May 26.

Liotta—who famously played Henry Hill in the 1990 mob classic Goodfellas—was born in Newark but grew up in Union Township after being adopted as a baby. He graduated from Union High School in 1973 before studying acting at the University of Miami and then moving to New York to pursue his film career.

“At this time, the Township of Union is exploring various options on how best to honor/remember Ray Liotta,” Union Mayor Manuel Figueiredo told New Jersey Monthly in an emailed statement. “We are allowing the family and loved ones time to grieve and process his untimely death before we make any definitive decisions.”

TMZ reported that naming a local youth baseball field after Liotta is one option under consideration. Such an acknowledgment would be a nod to Liotta’s performance as Shoeless Joe Jackson in the 1989 baseball film Field of Dreams, which also starred Kevin Costner.

Ray Liotta

Liotta (left) and Kevin Costner starred together in “Field of Dreams.” Photo courtesy of Universal/Photofest

“Devastated to hear the news of Ray Liotta’s passing,” Costner tweeted following Liotta’s death. “While he leaves an incredible legacy, he’ll always be ‘Shoeless Joe Jackson’ in my heart.”

Liotta died in his sleep in the Dominican Republic, where he was on location shooting the movie Dangerous Waters. Liotta, who was 67 years old, leaves behind a 23-year-old daughter, Karsen, and a fiancée, Jacy Nittolo.

Known for his gruff on-screen persona, Liotta made an impact on television and film throughout a career that lasted more than 40 years. He recently returned to the mafia genre in 2021 for The Many Saints of Newark, a prequel movie to The Sopranos series. Liotta also starred in NBC’s Shades of Blue in recent years, among other TV roles.

Liotta was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016. During his speech, he reflected on his childhood in Union. He played youth sports there, while his mother, Mary, worked as a township clerk and his father, Alfred, owned an auto parts store and presided over a local Democratic club.

“In Union, where I grew up, it said, ‘Union has loads of good kids.’ That was one of the sayings,” Liotta recalled. “But what I have to say is, New Jersey has loads of great people.”

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