See the Cast of ‘Goodfellas’ Then and Now
Based on the true story of the notorious Lucchese crime family and their associate, Henry Hill, Martin Scorsese‘s ‘Goodfellas’ follows the blue-collar Hill (Ray Liotta) as he tries to work his way up the ranks of the Italian-American mob in his New York neighborhood. Featuring a cast that includes Robert De Niro and several future stars of ‘The Sopranos,’ the film hit theaters in 1990 and received rave reviews for its depiction of organized crime. Twenty-three years later, we revisit the cast of the film and see what they’re up to now.
Ray Liotta, Henry Hill
Then: Ray Liotta played Henry Hill, the main character who idolizes the New York mob and tries to rise up their ranks. Liotta turned down the part of Harvey Dent in Tim Burton’s ‘Batman’ to make the film.
Now: Liotta recently appeared in ‘The Iceman’ and ‘The Place Beyond the Pines,’ and can be seen next in ‘The Muppets Most Wanted’ and ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.’ He’s also been enlisted by 1800 Tequila for their new campaign, which seems to scare men out of ordering girly drinks. Take a look:
Robert De Niro, Jimmy Conway
Then: Al Pacino turned down the role of Jimmy Conway, based on real-life gangster Jimmy Burke, feeling that he was being too type-cast at the time. The part went to Robert De Niro, who previously appeared in five of Scorsese’s films, including ‘Taxi Driver’ and ‘Raging Bull.’
Now: In 2013 alone, De Niro has appeared in the films ‘The Family,’ ‘The Big Wedding,’ ‘Killing Season,’ ‘Last Vegas’ and the upcoming ‘American Hustle.’ Next year will see him go up against Sylvester Stallone in ‘Grudge Match,’ a film about aged rival boxers, and the actor also has plans to reunite with Scorsese once again the long-gestating gangster film ‘The Irishman.’
Joe Pesci, Tommy DeVito
Then: Joe Pesci played Tommy DeVito, an associate of the local mob capo who takes Henry under his wing. Pesci previously played De Niro’s brother in ‘Raging Bull.’
Now: In 1998, Pesci took a break from acting for several years following his appearance in ‘Lethal Weapon 4.’ He returned in 2006, and has since appeared in ‘The Good Shepherd,’ ‘Love Ranch,’ and can be seen next in ‘The Irishman.’
Lorraine Bracco, Karen Hill
Then: Lorraine Bracco played Karen, Henry’s wife, who gets herself unfortunately mixed up in his line of work.
Now: Bracco went on to star in ‘The Baseketball Diaries’ with ‘Goodfellas’ co-star Michael Imperioli, and the pair reunited again with several of their ‘Goodfellas’ co-stars for the HBO series ‘The Sopranos.’ Bracco currently stars on the TV series ‘Rizzoli and Isles.’
Paul Sorvino, Paul Cicero
Then: Paul Sorvino played local mob capo Paul Cicero. Sorvino almost dropped out of the film because he didn’t think he was cold enough for the part.
Now: Sorvino’s film credits include ‘Nixon’ and Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Romeo + Juliet,’ and he recently appeared in the film ‘Jersey Shore Shark Attack.’ He received the lifetime achievement award at the Gold Coast International Film Festival. His daughter is actress Mira Sorvino.
Frank Vincent, Billy Batts
Then: Frank Vincent wanted the role of Paul Cicero, which went to Paul Sorvino, but instead accepted the smaller part of Billy Batts, a member of the opposing Gambino crime family.
Now: Vincent appeared in ‘Casino’ and ‘Gotti,’ and portrayed New York City crime boss Phil Leotardo in the HBO series ‘The Sopranos.’ His last acting credit was in the 2011 film ‘Spy’ with his ‘Sopranos’ co-star Vincent Pastore, but he’ll return in 2014 on a smaller project, ‘Without Hate.’
Samuel L. Jackson, Parnell “Stacks” Edwards
Then: Samuel L. Jackson had a small role as Parnell “Stacks” Edwards, another character based on a real-life criminal. At the time, Jackson’s career was just taking off, and he had appeared in ‘Coming to America’ and ‘Do the Right Thing.’
Now: Jackson is Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, appearing in films like ‘The Avengers,’ the upcoming ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ and even briefly on Marvel’s TV series, ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ He can be seen next in the ‘Oldboy’ remake — which reunites him with director Spike Lee — as well as in the ‘RoboCop’ remake. Some of his upcoming projects include ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron,’ the Marvel comic-adapted ‘The Secret Service,’ the Stephen King-adapted ‘Cell,’ and ‘Barely Lethal.’
Debi Mazar, Sandy
Then: Debi Mazar landed her first major acting role in ‘Goodfellas’ as Sandy, Karen’s friend.
Now: Mazar has also appeared in films like ‘Malcolm X’ and ‘Empire Records.’ She starred on the HBO series ‘Entourage,’ and she currently hosts a cooking show with her husband on the Cooking Channel. Aside from a slew of TV credits, she recently appeared in the Amanda Seyfried vehicle ‘Lovelace.’
Michael Imperioli, Spider
Then: Like Mazar, Michael Imperioli also landed one of his first big roles with ‘Goodellas,’ playing a character known as “Spider.”
Now: Imperioli went on to appear with Mazar in ‘Malcolm X,’ and with Bracco in ‘The Basketball Diaries.’ He reunited with several of his ‘Goodfellas’ stars for the HBO series ‘The Sopranos,’ and appears with Samuel L. Jackson in the ‘Oldboy’ remake.