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‘Goodfellas’ Star, Anti-Smoking Campaigner Ray Liotta Dies at 67

“His work as an actor showed his complexity as a human being. A gentle man. So sad to hear” – Jamie Lee Curtis

LOS ANGELES — Actor Ray Liotta, best known for his leading role in Martin Scorsese’s mob classic “Goodfellas,” died in his sleep Thursday while filming a movie in the Dominican Republic.

Liotta, 67, was filming a movie titled “Dangerous Waters.” There was no immediate word on a cause of death.

A New Jersey native, Liotta rose to stardom in the 1980s, portraying Shoeless Joe Jackson in Kevin Costner’s cult-hit baseball fable “Field of Dreams.”

He became a superstar the following year with the release of “Goodfellas,” in which he portrayed mobster-turned-informant Henry Hill in a film that featured a who’s who of Hollywood greats, including Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci.

Though known for his tough-guy roles, he also had a softer side, appearing in “Muppets From Space” and “Muppets Most Wanted” … READ MORE. 

“I was very saddened to learn of Ray’s passing. He is way too young to have left us. May he Rest in Peace.” – “Goodfellas” co-star Robert De Niro 

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LOOKING BACK:

“I’m Ray and I quit smoking with Chantix.”

By Beth Snyder Bulik, Jul 6, 2018

FIERCE PHARMA – Legendary tough guy actor Ray Liotta is now fronting for Pfizer’s Chantix.

He’s the first celebrity to appear in the long-running campaign, which features real smokers who kicked the habit. But in this crowd he’s like all the rest. He begins the TV ad speaking to the camera, using the same simple introduction as previous testimonials: “I’m Ray and I quit smoking with Chantix.”

The actor, best known for his role in the classic crime drama “Goodfellas,” worked with that screen image in the ad. “In the movies, a lot of times I tend to play the tough guy, but I wasn’t tough enough to quit on my own,” he said. Liotta ended the TV commercial by telling the camera, “My favorite role so far? Being a non-smoker, no question about it.”

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The Chantix testimonial campaign called “Real People, Real Stories” has been airing since at least 2012 with TV ad spending totaling $447 million across 24 different commercials during those six years, according to data from real-time TV ad tracker iSpot.tv, which began tracking national TV advertising that year.

Liotta “wanted to share his story to help others,” Pfizer said in a statement to FiercePharma. The pharma said it frequently receives messages from Chantix users who want to tell their individual stories, adding that it is “thrilled to have Ray” on board with the campaign.

“We hope these ads will inspire smokers to consider making a quit attempt and talk with their healthcare provider,” Pfizer said … READ MORE. 

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