‘It’s just all so sudden’: Spokane director speaks on experience working with Ray Liotta

SPOKANE, Wash. — Actor Ray Liotta has died at the age of 67. His publicist says he passed away in his sleep while working on the film “Dangerous Waters” in the Dominican Republic.

Liotta is best known for his role in Goodfellas and Field of Dreams. He starred in more than 100 films throughout his acting career.

His career also brought him to Spokane where the mover The River Murders was filmed.

The director of the film, Rich Cowen described Liotta as an overall genuine person.

“It’s just all so sudden. My phone’s been blowing up with other actors that have called me today that worked with Ray and people like that. It’s all kind of just a shock right now, and we’re all just kind of processing it at this point,” co-founder of North By Northwest Cowen said.

Cowen says Liotta was always curious. He even scouted set locations with the crew in Spokane before filming the River Murders. Again, something Cowen says isn’t typical for an actor.

“Most actors sort of just show up on the set that day. It may often times be the first they’ve ever been at a location, but Ray was on it, he knew all about the locations and where he was going to be as the role he was playing,” Cowen said.

Liotta played a homicide detective in The River Murders. But the movie takes as turn when Liotta becomes the prime suspect when the FBI uncovers his close ties to all the victims.

Liotta played the lead role as Henry Hill in Goodfellas, which is widely regarded as one of the best movies ever made and for his supporting role in Field of Dreams as “Shoeless” Joe Jackson.

Cowen says Liotta was an actor who had time for everyone.

“It didn’t matter what your position was on the crew or anything he was a great listener, and just a great participant in the entire filmmaking process. Which is a little unusual for an actor. Usually they’re kind of there and they do their thing and then they leave but Ray was always there, always on set, always looking always asking questions, and we appreciate that,” Cowen said.

READ: ‘Goodfellas’ co-stars, many others pay tribute to Ray Liotta