Ray Liotta leaves behind daughter Karsen, following in his footsteps
27th May 2022

Ray Liotta’s legacy: How the late actor’s beloved 23-year-old daughter Karsen is following in her father’s famous footsteps as an actress and model, boasting multiple movie roles AND turns on the catwalk for Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana

  • Devoted fans, former costars, and celebrity friends are mourning the tragic death of Goodfellas star Ray Liotta, who passed away suddenly in his sleep at age 67 on Thursday
  • Ray welcomed his only child, Karsen Liotta, in December 1998 with his ex-wife, Michelle Grace, and the now-23-year-old has gone on to launch her own on-screen career 
  • After her parents’ relationship ended in divorce in 2004, Karsen stayed close with her dad – with Ray calling her his ‘whole life’ in 2007 and admitting he turned down a role so that he could spend more time with her 
  • Over the years, the two continued to gush over one another, with her thanking him for teaching her ‘everything she knows’ in an emotional 2018 social media post
  • After accompanying her famous father to set throughout her childhood, Karsen fell in love with acting and decided to step into the spotlight herself, and has since starred in a slew of movies 
  • She also has a big social media presence – racking in more than 34,000 followers – and has modeled for big brands like Chanel, Dolce Gabbana, and Brandy Melville 

Devoted fans, former costars, and celebrity friends are mourning the tragic death of Goodfellas star Ray Liotta, who passed away suddenly in his sleep at age 67 on Thursday.

The actor, who is best remembered for his work on the big screen and his dominance of the mob movie genre, left behind a 23-year-old daughter who began following in his famous footsteps several years ago.

Ray welcomed his only child, Karsen Liotta, in December 1998 with his ex-wife, Michelle Grace, and the now-23-year-old has gone on to launch her own on-screen career.

After her parents’ relationship ended in divorce in 2004, Karsen stayed close with her dad – with Ray calling his daughter his ‘whole life’ in a 2007 interview and admitting he turned down a movie role so that he could spend more time with her.

Over the years, the two continued to speak out about their enduring bond, with him writing in a 2016 Instagram post that he doesn’t know ‘what he’d do’ without her, and her thanking him for teaching her ‘everything she knows’ in an emotional 2018 social media post. 

In the wake of Ray Liotta’s tragic passing, FEMAIL has uncovered everything you need to know about his only child, daughter Karsen Liotta (pictured together in 2014)


Following in his footsteps: After accompanying her famous father to set throughout her childhood, Karsen, 23, fell in love with acting and decided to step into the spotlight herself, and has since starred in a slew of movies

She also has a big social media presence – racking in more than 34,000 followers – and has modeled for big brands like Chanel, Dolce Gabbana, and Brandy Melville

After accompanying her famous father to set throughout her childhood, Karsen fell in love with acting and decided to step into the spotlight herself, and has since starred in a slew of movies.

She also has a big social media presence – racking up more than 34,000 followers – and has modeled for big brands like Chanel, Dolce Gabbana, and Brandy Melville.

Ray – who is best known for playing mob leader Henry Hill in the 1990 Martin Scorsese movie Goodfellas – passed away in his bed on Thursday in a hotel located on the Caribbean island of Zona Colonial, where he was filming a new movie.

An emergency service team reportedly rushed to the building, but he could not be saved; his body was transferred to the forensic institute of Santo Domingo and there is no suspicion of foul play.

In the wake of his tragic passing, FEMAIL has uncovered everything you need to know about his only child, including an inside look at their tight bond and how she played matchmaker and helped him find love again before his death.

Stepping into her own spotlight: How Karsen followed in her famous father’s footsteps

Ray welcomed Karsen in December 1998 with his ex-wife, Michelle Grace. They married in 1999 and were together until 2004, when they got divorced. The former couple is pictured together in 2002


After her parents’ relationship ended in divorce, Karsen stayed close with her dad – with Ray calling his daughter his ‘whole life’ in a 2007 interview and admitting he turned down a role so he could spend more time with her. She is pictured as a baby

Ray met his ex-wife Grace in February 1997, when they both attended a baseball game where her former husband Mark Grace was playing for the Chicago Cubs.

Karsen launched her acting career when she was only two years old, starring in the flick A Rumor of Angels alongside Vanessa Redgrave, Cahterine McCormack, Trevor Morgan, and her dad. She is pictured as a baby

Grace, now 53, is a producer and actress who was behind flicks like Baseball Wives and Knights of the South Bronx. They married in 1999 and were together until 2004, when they got divorced. 

Karsen, now 23, launched her acting career when she was only two years old, starring in the flick A Rumor of Angels alongside Vanessa Redgrave, Catherine McCormack, Trevor Morgan, and her dad.

She then went on to appear in Mississippi Requiem, Shades of Blue (which she acted in alongside her dad once again, along with Jennifer Lopez), Teenage Bada**, and Hubie Halloween.

According to the budding star, she fell in love with acting after visiting her father’s set as a kid.

‘I always go with him whenever I have a break,’ she told Teen Vogue in 2015. ‘I enjoy hanging out on location and meeting people.’ 

She also performed in many school plays, revealing to the outlet that she had been in three that year alone.

Karsen is also a model, and has posed for brands and magazines like Brandy Melville, Vogue Japan, Flaunt Magazine, and Glamour Mexico, and has walked in fashion shows for Chanel and Dolce Gabbana over the years. 


According to the star, she fell in love with acting after visiting her father’s set as a kid. ‘I always go with him whenever I have a break,’ she told Teen Vogue in 2015. ‘I enjoy hanging out on location and meeting people.’ She is pictured with her dad in 2007

Impressive: She then went on to appear in Mississippi Requiem, Shades of Blue (which she acted in alongside her dad once again, along with Jennifer Lopez), Teenage Bada**, and Hubie Halloween. She is pictured in Shades of Blue


Karsen is also a model, and has posed for brands and magazines like Brandy Melville, Vogue Japan, Flaunt Magazine, and Glamour Mexico, and has walked in fashion shows for Chanel (left) and Dolce Gabbana (right) over the years

‘I’m really into acting, that’s been my focus since I was younger, but modeling is definitely something I want to pursue for a while. I really love doing them both,’ she said in 2015.

As for how she got into modeling, she explained the Brandy Melville approached her when she was 14 and asked her to be in their campaign.

‘Brandy Melville approached me when I was 14 and wanted me to work for them, but I couldn’t at the time because you have to 15,’ she explained.

‘Pretty much the day I turned 15 I went and got my work visa and showed up and said, “I’m 15 – I can work!” and they hired me.

‘I find that the more I model, the more comfortable I get around the camera, and the better I get. With every shoot I get more and more comfortable.’ 


Star-studded squad: Her famous friends now include Sofia Richie and Corinne Foxx, whom she’s been pictured hanging out with on her Instagram. She is pictured with Sofia and other friends (left) and Corinne and other friends (right)

Taken: It appears that she currently has a boyfriend named Stefan Samorski, who she was pictured cozying up to in a series of images shared on her Instagram account in December 2020

Her famous friends now include Sofia Richie and Corinne Foxx, whom she’s been pictured hanging out with on her Instagram.

Based on her posts, she’s a fan of artists like Justin Timberlake and Kanye West, and she enjoys the movies The Notebook and Scream.

It appears that she currently has a boyfriend named Stefan Samorski, since she shared a series of snaps that showed her cozying up to him back in 2020.

‘Main squeeze,’ she captioned the pictures. One showed the couple wrapping their arms around each other, while another featured them starring into each other’s eyes.

She hasn’t posted on her feed since then, but Stefan did share a few snaps of her in April of this year, hinting that they’re still together. 

Best friends forever: Inside Karsen’s close relationship with her dad 

Tight bond: Karsen and Ray appeared to be super close, with the legendary movie star one saying, ‘My whole life is about her. Being a dad. I don’t like to go too long without seeing her.’ Ray and Karsen are pictured in 2004


In an Instagram post shared in 2018, Karsen called her dad ‘the real G,’ and thanked him for teaching her ‘everything she knows.’ They are pictured in 2007 (left) and 2008 (right)

Karsen and Ray appeared to be super close, with the legendary movie star calling her his ‘whole life’ during a 2007 interview with the Guardian, and adding that he couldn’t go more than ‘a couple of weeks’ without seeing her.

He told the outlet, ‘My whole life is about her. Being a dad. She’ll come up and visit me on set. I don’t like to go too long without seeing her. 

‘Maybe a couple of weeks. I just had a period of four months at home because I decided not to do a movie so I could spend more time with her. It was all about taking her to dance classes, playing with her.’ 

The father-daughter duo were often gushing over each other on social media; in fact, one of Ray’s most recent posts before his sudden passing was a throwback snap of him and Karsen in Shades of Blue, which he posted in December 2021.

In an Instagram post shared in 2018, Karsen called her dad ‘the real G,’ and thanked him for teaching her ‘everything she knows.’

‘To the real G. Thanks for teaching me everything I know,’ she captioned a series of old pics of Ray.

She also wrote in honor of Father’s Day in 2016, ‘Happy Father’s Day to the coolest, funniest and most talented person I know.’ 

When she graduated from high school in 2017, Ray shared an old pic with his daughter and admitted it was ‘hard to believe’ how fast she was growing up. The father-daughter-duo is pictured in 2014


‘You want your children to be happy – happy as a person with herself and happy with what they’ve picked for their professional life. I’m so proud of my girl,’ he gushed on Instagram in 2016, while discussing her modeling career. They are pictured in 2019

When she graduated from high school in 2017, Ray shared an old pic with his daughter and admitted it was ‘hard to believe’ how fast she was growing up.

‘Hard to believe that my baby girl just graduated high school. Why can’t they stay this way?’ he wrote.

In another post, he admitted, ‘I don’t know what I’d do without her.’ 

He also often supported her modeling work, sharing a snap of her posing at the Dolce Gabbana show in 2017, which he captioned, ‘My beautiful daughter in Milan doing a show for. @DolceGabbana.’ 

As for the lessons her dad taught her, Karsen explained to Teen Vogue in 2015, ‘He taught me to do my homework, to always practice. That’s how you get where you want to be’

He also wrote in 2016, alongside a pic of her in the Chanel show, ‘I’m so proud of her. As any parent will testify, you want your children to be happy. 

‘Happy as a person with herself and happy with what they’ve picked for their professional life course. I can’t be more happy about her first modeling job for @chanelofficial in Paris. It’s hard as a single parent. 

‘My heart and hopes go out to those of us who do it on our own. I’m so proud of my girl. I love you Karsen.’

‘Happy birthday dad,’ Karsen wrote in 2013, alongside a sweet throwback pic of them together. ‘You’re the best and I love you!’ 

Karsen was often photographed attending events with Ray, and was by his side at the SAG Awards in 2016.

‘My daughter and I just before we left for the #SAGAwards last year. Her career is really starting to take off and she’s not even out of high school yet,’ Ray wrote on Instagram in January 2017, while sharing some pics of him and his daughter before the star-studded event.

‘I won’t go all dad on you, but I’m very proud of her. Our jobs as parents aside from loving them to death is to get them ready to go out in the world with confidence. I can say I succeeded. If this was paper you’d see a tear drop.’

The budding star was also his date to the U.K. premiere of Marriage Story back in 2019.

As for the lessons her dad taught her, Karsen explained to Teen Vogue in 2015, ‘He taught me to do my homework, to always practice. That’s how you get where you want to be.’

Playing matchmaker: How Karsen helped her dad find love again before his death

Matchmaker: Ray was able to find love again before his death – thanks to his daughter (pictured). He started dating former hairstylist Jacy Nittolo, 47, during the pandemic, after Karsen set them up


She met Jacy at a party thrown by her son Chazz, and Karsen (pictured) decided to play matchmaker. ‘She said, “I want you to go out with my dad, I think you’d be perfect for my dad,”‘ Ray recalled during an appearance on Live With Kelly and Ryan

The couple (pictured) announced their engagement in December 2020, with Ray writing at the time, ‘Christmas wishes do come true. I asked the love of my life to marry me, and thank God she said yes!’

Mourning: Both Jacy and Karsen have yet to speak out about Ray’s death

It turns out, Karsen is actually the reason Ray was able to find love again after his split from Grace.

The Goodfellas star previously spoke out about struggling to date following his divorce.

‘Dating, I haven’t really gotten into that at all. I’ve only had one or two dates in the past couple of years. It’s either going to happen, or not. I’m hoping that it is,’ he said in 2007, adding that he was looking for someone who was ‘not as career-oriented’ and who was ‘more about the relationship.’ 

In the end, he was able to find just that – thanks to his daughter. Ray started dating former hairstylist Jacy Nittolo, 47, during the pandemic, after Karsen set them up.

She met Jacy at a party thrown by her son Chazz, and she decided to play matchmaker.

‘[Karsen] said, “I want you to go out with my dad, I think you’d be perfect for my dad,”‘ Ray recalled during a September 2021 appearance on Live With Kelly and Ryan, adding that Jacy initially wanted ‘nothing’ to do with a famous actor, but she eventually came around.

Before meeting Ray, Jacy was previously married to a man named Joey Nittolo, and the pair share sons, Dax, Chazz, and Joey, and daughter, Jade. 

She and Ray made their red carpet debut at the Film Independent Spirit Awards in February of 2020, and announced their engagement in December of that year. 

Based on her posts, Karsen is a fan of artists like Justin Timberlake and Kanye West, and she enjoys the movies The Notebook and Scream

Ray – who is best known for starring in Goodfellas – passed away in his bed on Thursday in a hotel located on the Caribbean island of Zona Colonial. He left behind his daughter, who is pictured in 2018, and fiancée

‘Christmas wishes do come true. I asked the love of my life to marry me, and thank God she said yes!’ he wrote on Instagram at the time. 

He opened up about their romance to People back in November, explaining: ‘Luckily, I had met somebody [during the pandemic], and it brought us really, really close, to the point now where I’m engaged.

‘So I like to think that was the reason. I’ve heard that there’s a lot of people whose relationship didn’t work out because they were with each other so much. But she’s just great.’

Both Jacy and Karsen have yet to speak out about Ray’s death, however, a spokesman for the Dominican Republic’s General Direction of Cinema said in a statement: ‘We understand that he was accompanied by his [fiancée at the time of his death] and that the [fiancée] asks that you please respect her grief.’

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