The Stars of 'Goodfellas' : A Look Back at Their Careers

In the 30-plus years since Goodfellas became one of the most beloved titles in the mafia genre, the film's star-studded cast has gone on to great success and a long list of memorable roles

01 of 09

Ray Liotta (Henry Hill)

Goodfellas Where Are They Now
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Ray Liotta found his breakout role as mobster protagonist and FBI informant Henry Hill in 1990's Goodfellas, one year after appearing as "Shoeless" Joe Jackson in Field of Dreams.

The Emmy-winner fully went to the other side with his subsequent roles, playing cops and FBI agents in the likes of Cop Land, Hannibal, John Q, Identity, Smokin' Aces and Observe and Report. One of his last roles was in HBO's Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark.

Liotta died in his sleep at age 67 while filming the movie Dangerous Waters in the Dominican Republic in May 2022.

02 of 09

Lorraine Bracco (Karen Hill)

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Lorraine Bracco, who also starred in The Sopranos as Tony Soprano's therapist Jennifer Melfi, played mob wife Karen Hill in Goodfellas, earning herself Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress.

The Emmy-winning actress, 67, went on to appear in many films and TV shows, perhaps most notably as Mayor Margaret Dutton in NBC's Blue Bloods. These days, she's the owner of Bracco Wines in association with Straight-Up Brands LLC, and she has made appearances with her products on Top Chef and Throwdown! with Bobby Flay.

03 of 09

Robert De Niro (Jimmy Conway)

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He's Robert De Niro — need we say more? The Martin Scorsese favorite was already known worldwide as one of the silver screen's greatest by the time he starred in Goodfellas in 1990, playing Irish carjacker and gangster Jimmy Conway.

Goodfellas was De Niro's sixth collaboration with Scorsese, whose other mafia crime epic The Godfather: Part II helped cement the actor's legacy as one of the greatest film stars of his generation, per critics. Since Goodfellas, the 78-year-old has appeared in dozens of acclaimed films, including Cape Fear, Stardust, The Irishman, Meet the Parents and Silver Linings Playbook.

04 of 09

Samuel L. Jackson (Stacks Edwards)

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Samuel L. Jackson played getaway driver Parnell "Stacks" Edwards in Goodfellas, inspired by the IRL participant in the Lufthansa Heist by the same name.

Since his bit part in the Scorsese classic, Jackson, 73, has fused himself with the very meaning of American film with performances in Pulp Fiction, A Time to Kill, The Hateful Eight, Django Unchained — the list goes on. While he's never received an Oscar for any of his many beloved roles, he received an honorary Academy Award in 2022.

05 of 09

Michael Imperioli (Spider)

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Aside from his infamous character Christopher "CHRISTOPHAAA" Moltisanti in HBO's The Sopranos, the Emmy-winning Michael Imperioli is arguably most well-known for his spot as Spider in Goodfellas. Considered the actor's big break, his performance as the less-than-bright Spider earned him the respect of De Niro and a chance to work alongside some of the industry's most important names.

In the years since Goodfellas, Imperioli, 56, has stayed active in the arts, serving as artistic director of Studio Dante, an Off-Broadway theater he founded with his wife, Victoria Imperioli. Michael is also known for his music, acting as vocalist and guitarist for the band Zopa. The Italian-American icon still acts and was cast in a leading role in the second season of HBO's The White Lotus.

06 of 09

Debi Mazar (Sandy)

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Debi Mazar carved out a name for herself as the sharp-tongued mafia mistress Sandy in Goodfellas, a breakthrough role that set her acting career in motion.

After Goodfellas, the dancer and actress went on to score supporting roles in Batman Forever, The Doors, Bullets Over Broadway and more recently, as Maggie Amato in the television series Younger. Like some of her fellow Goodfellas alumni, the 57-year-old has also turned her love for cooking into passion projects, notably on the Cooking Channel's reality series Extra Virgin with husband Gabriele Corcos and their two daughters.

07 of 09

Paul Sorvino (Paulie Cicero)

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Paul Sorvino already had two decades of film and TV appearances under his belt when he played Paul Cicero in Goodfellas.

The character actor, 83, has since gone onto roles in The Rocketeer, The Firm, Law & Order, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Romeo + Juliet, Repo! The Genetic Opera, Rules Don't Apply and a long list of other films.

08 of 09

Joe Pesci (Tommy DeVito)

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Known for playing tough guys, often alongside the likes of De Niro and other greats, Joe Pesci played mobster Timmy DeVito in Goodfellas, a career-defining performance for which he later won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

Also a Scorsese regular, Pesci, 79, reunited with the director and De Niro for his Goodfellas role roughly a decade after starring in Raging Bull, which launched his career. Today, the legendary Italian-American and Newark, New Jersey, native keeps a low profile after retiring from acting in 1999, but has appeared in the equally legendary Casino, Home Alone, The Irishman and My Cousin Vinny.

09 of 09

Frank Vincent (Billy Batts)

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Yet another Sopranos and Scorsese alumnus, Frank Vincent got his big break starring alongside De Niro and Pesci in Raging Bull. He was again cast by Scorsese as Goodfellas' Billy Batts, a Gambino family mobster.

The New Jersey native was mostly typecast as a mobster, also starring in films like Jungle Fever, Casino and Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing. He suffered a heart attack and died at age 78 following open heart surgery in 2017, leaving behind a legacy of memorable, cigar-smoking wise guys.

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