Ray Liotta Says Frank Sinatra's Daughters Once Sent Him a Horse Head: It 'Means You're Toast'

The 66-year-old actor recalled receiving a horse head in the mail after playing the legendary singer in the 1998 film The Rat Pack

Frank Sinatra and Ray Liotta
Photo: getty (2)

Ray Liotta once received an unexpected message from Frank Sinatra's daughters.

During a recent appearance on Jay Leno's Garage, the 66-year-old actor recalled receiving a horse head in the mail after playing the legendary singer in the 1998 film The Rat Pack.

Of course, as any Godfather fan will know, the horse head came with an unspoken warning: "You're toast."

Liotta explained to Leno that Sinatra's daughters, Tina and Nancy, had previously asked him to act in a miniseries about the famous group of singers. He'd turned them down at the time, because "I just felt too uncomfortable," he said.

So, when he took the role later in The Rat Pack, the women sent him the warning.

"Obviously, it wasn't a real one, but it was a horse's head," Liotta said. "And, you know, a horse's head means you're toast."

He continued, "It turned out that his daughters sent it and said, 'Oh, you could do this one, but you couldn't do the one that we wanted you to?' "

Nancy and Tina never followed through with their miniseries, though they were involved with the 2015 documentary Sinatra: All or Nothing at All.

Liotta had gained somewhat of a reputation for turning down a different iconic role around the same time — Tony Soprano in HBO's hit mob series The Sopranos. However, the actor debunked those rumors in September, explaining that he had been approached about appearing in the series, but not for the lead role.

Instead, he said Sopranos creator David Chase "once talked" to him about playing the smaller role of Ralph Cifaretto.

"No! I don't know where that story came from," Liotta told The Guardian about the rumor he was in line to play Tony. "David once talked to me about playing Ralphie. But never Tony."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

As for why he turned the Ralphie role (which was ultimately played by Joe Pantoliano) down, the Goodfellas actor felt it was time to do something new in his career.

"I didn't want to do another mafia thing, and I was shooting Hannibal," he told the outlet, referencing the 2001 Silence of the Lambs sequel he starred in. "It just didn't feel right at the time."

In spite of saying no to The Sopranos over 20 years ago, Liotta is finally finding himself in that universe, thanks to a role in the upcoming Tony Soprano origin story The Many Saints of Newark.

Celebrities Visit SiriusXM - June 14, 2018
Cindy Ord/Getty

In fact, the star aggressively pursued a role in the project this time around, even paying for his own flight to New York to talk with Chase about the role.

"I'm really not sure what made me so determined," he reflected. "But I was and luckily it all worked out."

Perhaps it's because The Many Saints of Newark is set in the New Jersey city during the 1960s where and when Liotta himself was raised.

In the film, the actor will play Aldo 'Hollywood Dick' Moltisanti, father to central character Richard 'Dickie' Moltisanti played by Alessandro Nivola. Critics are raving about the prequel film, which sees the formation of late actor James Gandolfini's vicious Tony Soprano during his teenage years with the actor's son, Michael, portraying a younger version of the character.

Related Articles