Ray Liotta

  1. Dennis Farina, Midnight Run, 1987.   A great buddy movie (better than the same director Martin Brest’s Beverly Hills Cop), has skip-tracer Robert De Niro (in top comedy form) and Vegas embezzler Charles Grodin on the run from the FBI andthe Vegas Mob, represented by Farina (a Chicago cop for 18 years before turning actor). His rivals for the gig were Alec Baldwin, Dennis Hopper, Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta, Ron Perlman.
  2. Alec Baldwin, Married To The Mob, 1988.     Director Jonathan Demme’s film was something of a continuation of Something Wild, “but Ray didn’t want to play another bad guy.” Or, not until Martin Scorsese called about Goodfellas.
  3. Michael Keaton, Batman, 1988.  
  4. Jack Nicholson, Batman, 1988.
  5. Billy Dee Williams, Batman, 1988.
  6. Kurt Russell, Tango &Cash, 1989.  Sylvester Stallone was Raymond Tango – without question. But who would he accept as his equally frame cop pardner, Gabriel Cash? After Patrick Swayze ran (to solo billing in Road House), the list was long… Liotta, Michael Biehn, Pierce Brosnan, Kevin Costner, Richard Gere, Mel Gibson, Don Johnson, Michael Keaton, Liam Neeson, Michael Nouri, Gary Oldman, Robert Patrick, Bill Paxton, Ron Perlman, Dennis Quaid, Gary Sinise. Plus three future Sly co-stars: Harrison Ford,  Bruce Willis and James Woods. They all lost out on the debatable pleasure of four directors! From the Russian Andrei Konchalovsky to, secretly, Stallone. –
  7. Adam Baldwin, Next of Kin, 1989.  Liotta, Alec Baldwin (no kin to Adam), Robert De Niro, Michael Keaton, John Malkovich, Jack Nicholson, Sean Penn, Ron Perlman, Tim Robbins were seen for mobster Joey Rossellini in the hillbillies v the Mafia re-run of the same UK director John Irvin’s tons better Raw Deal, 1985.
  8. Jim Belushi, Curly Sue, 1990.    “What I thought would be this cute, sweet little movie experience ended up going on for something like five months,” reported Kelly Lynch. “So much money was spent. It was insane! It was going to be me, Alec Baldwin and Kevin Spacey –  a whole different situation. [They left for stage dates].  Those were two guys I knew really well, but I’d never met Jimmy [Belushi] before, and then he and [director] John Hughes making his final film] didn’t get along. I kinda felt like a mom dealing with two 12-year-old boys.“  Also in the Bill Dancer mix were Jeff Bridges, Richard Dreyfuss, Mel Gibson, Jeff Goldblum, Steve Guttenberg, Ray Liotta, Bill Murray (off shooting What About Bob?), Kurt Russell, Tom Selleck, Sylvester Stallone, John Travolta, Bruce Willis. [Quotes va IMDb; no other source credited].
  9. Michael Douglas, Basic Instinct, 1991.
  10. Gary Oldman, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, 1992.     Director Francis Coppola decided to make the old legend “younger, very erotic, very romantic and very horrific.” Losing his favourites – Jeremy Irons, Daniel Day-Lewis – he looked at everyone else, mainly during auditions at his Napa Valley estate… Liotta, Armand Assante, Antonio Banderas, Nick Cassavetes, Nicolas Cage, Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Andy Garcia, Hugh Grant, Kyle MacLachlan, Costas Mandylor, Viggo Mortensen, Dermot Mulroney, Michael Nouri (a long way from Flashdance), Adrian Pasdar, Jason Patric, Aiden Quinn, Keanu Reeves, Alan Rickman, Christian Slater and Sting.

  11. Tim Robbins, Short Cuts, 1993.    One of Ray’s earliest roles was a corpse in a soap. Now the entire project was dead as venerated director Robert Altman’s backing evaporated in 1990… before The Player got it rolling anew.
  12. Jeremy Irons, The Lion King, 1993.     In the frame to voice the villainous Scar in the 32nd Disney toon – “Bambi meets Hamlet in Africa”- were top Brits, Sean Connery, Tim Curry, Malcolm McDowell. And assorted Hollywood-mafiosi Lotta, James Caan, Robert Duvall.
  13. Eric Roberts, Doctor Who (The Movie), TV, 1996.    
  14. James Gandolfini, Perdita Durango, Mexico-USA-Spain, 1996.     Ray succeeded Dennis Hopper as Dumas before Spanish director Bigas Luna handed the show to Álex De la Iglesi.
  15. James Gandolfini, The Sopranos, TV, 1999-2007.     
  16. Joe Pantoliano, The Sopranos, TV, 1999-2007.     
  17. Forest Whitaker, Phone Booth, 2001.      Could not settle on a deal to play the tough Big Apple police captain involved in the bizarre case of a guy trapped in a Manhattan phone booth by a caller – a serial killer with a sniper rifle.
  18. John Turturo, Fear X(aka Inside Job), Denmark-Canada-UK-Brazil, 2002. Stanley Kubrick meets David Lynch in a slow-burner from Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn about a security guard hunting the sniper who randomly killed his wife in a mall. Room for Antonioni, too, as he spends hours studying close-circuit video footage. Turturro’s best work in years, as if sending a message to his rivals for the gig: Liotta, Gary Oldman, Mark Ruffalo and Tom Sizemore.
  19. Gary Sinise, CSI: NY, 2004-2008.       Liotta (and earlier, Andy Garcia) had invitations to head the new spin-off as Detective Rick Calucci. Sinise’s cop was finally called Mac Taylor. In the original CSI, William Petertsen  changed this character’s family name from Scheinbaum to Grissom to honour his favourite NASAstronaut GHus Grissom.
  20. Cillian Murphy, Red Eye, 2004.      Horrorsmith Wes Craven also saw Kevin Bacon, Nicolas Cage, Willem Dafoe, John Malkovich, Edward Norton, Sean Penn, Michael Pitt and John Travolta. Craven said Murphy’s eyes won the creepy…. Jackson Rippner. (Geddit?)

  21. Tom Arnold, Happy Endings, 2005.      Liotta refused the blue collar father of a gay son and is, therefore, to blame for Tom’s first – hide! hide! – sex scene.
  22. Mark Wahlberg, The Departed, 2006.      Being booked elsewhere meant that Martin Scorsese’s GoodFellas star lost a key role – and an Oscar nomination – in the latest Scorsese venture.
  23. Russell Crowe, American Gangster, 2007.      As directors switched from David Fincher, Antoine Fuqua   to Peter Berg, Terry George – and, finally, Ridley Scott – so did the cop chasing the 1970s’ Manhattan drug kingpin in the 70s… from Liotta and Brad Pitt to Crowe.
  24. Adrien Brody, Giallo, Italy-Spain-UK-US, 2008.     Not a good idea… Giallo is Italian for yellow and refers to the jackets of horror-thriller books (like the French have Serie Noir for cop thrillers) and, indeed, for the films of Dario Argento (Tenebre, Opera, etc). This time his torture-porn was way off, making the worst of Jess Franco look good.
  25.  David Zayas, 13, 2009.       Skedules, skedules…! Liotta had to leave. Good news for the ex-NYPD cop turned actor… playing cops here and there in Law & Order, 16 Blocks, Law & Order, Michael Clayton. The film worked better in French – even though both versions were writer-directed by the same guy, Gela Babluani. He forgot his   edginess in his bags for Hollywood.
  26. Jonathan Banks, Community, TV,  2014.  Top of creator  Dan Harmon and writer Chris McKenna’s list for the new, fifth season character of Professor Buzz Hickey was Liotta . He had several phone conbflabs with Harmon – who finally chose what obne might call an older Liotta, Breaking Bad’s remarkable Banks.

 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  26