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SYFY WIRE Cocaine Bear

Ray Liotta’s Fiancée Shares Poignant Tribute on One-Year Anniversary of His Death

It’s been a year since the Cocaine Bear star died unexpectedly in his sleep.

By Benjamin Bullard
Cocaine Bear Trailer

It’s been one year since the unexpected passing of Ray Liotta, an acting icon who’ll forever be adored by fans for the life he brought to classics like Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas (as Henry Hill, the go-fast gangster at the center of the film), Field of Dreams (as Shoeless Joe Jackson), and, in one of his final screen appearances, in this year's Cocaine Bear.

With his untimely death last year at the age of 67, Liotta had just finished filming his good-sport bad-guy role in the Elizabeth Banks-directed horror-comedy (streaming now on Peacock) as the villainous Syd, the movie’s greedy criminal mastermind determined to make one last big-money payoff.

RELATED: Peacock announces 'Cocaine Bear: The True Story' documentary to premiere alongside hit movie

Sadly, Cocaine Bear turned out to be among Liotta’s final roles, though he brought the same full-on commitment to his character that his many fans have long come to expect. On the May 26th anniversary of his death, Liotta’s fiancée Jacy Nittolo shared with fans across social media a poignant message about how lasting and deep a loss his absence has been this past year — not only as an actor, but as a beloved presence in the lives of those closest to him.

“It’s been a heavy year of pain,” Liotta’s fiancée wrote on Instagram:

“A year ago today I was on a flight home from the Dominican Republic by myself in shock. My entire world unexpectedly turned upside down,” wrote Nittolo, relating how a fellow passenger comforted her while sharing her grief at the news of Liotta’s passing. “She gently grabbed and held my hand the entire flight as I cried and looked out the window. When we landed she looked at me and said everything is going to be ok. Your going to be ok.”

“…It’s been a heavy year of pain, heartache, healing, growing and accepting what is,” she added. “Learning to smile at what was. It supposedly gets easier with time. No time will change a loss so great. You just learn to live with it and keep going, trusting that all will be ok.”

Liotta’s cause of death was only recently revealed, with TMZ sharing documents obtained from the Dominican Republic (where he was filming at the time) indicating a combination of “respiratory insufficiency,” “pulmonary edema,” and "acute heart failure.” Liotta was reported to have died in his sleep on May 26, 2022, while in the Dominican Republic to be on the set of the upcoming action-thriller Dangerous Waters.

Stream Cocaine Bear at Peacock here to glimpse one of acting’s all-time greats in one of his final film roles, and stick around to catch the fascinating Peacock documentary detailing the incredible true story on which the movie was based.