At first, he was unable to understand why he was given up for adoption, but later, when he met his birth mother, he saw why she had to do it.
Ray Liotta, well known for his acting skills, died in his sleep while shooting in the Dominican Republic on 26 May 2022. But, before his death, Liotta had made peace with his childhood, given how he was put up for adoption by his birth parents when he was just a baby.
Last year, he opened up to PEOPLE about how he came to terms with the fact that his birth givers didn't want him in their life.
"At first, I didn't understand how a parent could give up a child. So, I had that kind of energy of just being like, that's just f— up," he said in November. "And then you realize, when I finally met my birth mom and my birth siblings ... in my 40s, by then, I wasn't as angry about it happening. I don't know. It's just another journey."
"After years, you grow up, and you just see the pattern of things. I've definitely developed more patience. Now I'm grateful for my health. And being born. For my parents that adopted me. I mean, it could have gone a lot of different ways," Liotta added.
The Goodfellas star, who was born on December 18, 1954, in Newark, New Jersey, was adopted in 1955 by father Alfred, an auto parts store owner, and mom Mary, a township clerk. He was just six months old at the time. His sister, Linda, is also adopted.
The actor, who is survived by his fiancée Jacy Nittolo and daughter Karson, per The Focus, eventually did track his birth mother down.
"I found my birth mother and found out I have, not an identical twin, but a half brother, five half sisters and a full sister that I didn't know about until 15 years ago," he told the Hollywood Reporter in 2014.
“I realised when I met her that she did it for very valid reasons and then realized that almost 99% of kids that are put up for adoption, it’s for the betterment of the kid… The household, the situation, the age just dictate that’s the best thing to do for the child," he later told Larry King during an interview.
At the same time, the actor admitted he was disappointed when he met the woman who gave birth to him. He said in an interview with The Guardian, per Fabiosa: “I was really grateful that I was adopted.”
Despite everything, Liotta went on to become a stellar actor and even carved a name for himself in the industry. He will definitely be missed. Rest in peace, Liotta!
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Pascal Le Segretain