Ray Liotta Earns Posthumous Emmy Nomination for 'Black Bird'

Ray Liotta
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The actor died in March 2022 at 67 years old. 

Ray Liotta just earned a posthumous Emmy nomination for his final TV performance in the limited Apple TV+ series, Black Bird. The actor, who died in March 2022 at the age of 67, is up for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie, the Television Academy revealed on Wednesday when it announced the full list of nominees for the 75th annual Emmy Awards.

The recognition comes 18 years after he was first nominated – and won – for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series, for his turn as Charlie Metcalf in the hit NBC medical drama, ER. Now he's being honored for his portrayal of James "Big Jim" Keene, the father of James "Jimmy" Keene (Taron Egerton), who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for various criminal activities, in the true-crime drama. 

Given a fateful choice, Black Bird follows Keene as he decides whether to stay in his minimum-security prison and serve the whole sentence or enter a maximum-security prison to befriend suspected serial killer Larry Hall (Paul Walter Hauser) in exchange for a reduced sentence.

In total, Black Bird earned four nominations, with Egerton and Hauser also nominated for their performances and the six-part drama up for Outstanding Cinematography for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie. 

“Long live Ray Liotta 🙏🏼” Hauser said in a statement, acknowledging his shared nomination in the same category, while Liotta's daughter, Karsen, also sent out a statement on behalf of her late father: "I am so grateful to the members of the Television Academy for honoring my Dad with this nomination. He was so incredibly proud of his performance in Black Bird, and it would mean the world to him to be nominated alongside Taron and Paul."

When the series first premiered in June 2022, Liotta's co-stars reflected on working with the late actor. "I just kind of fell in love with him immediately," Egerton told ET at the time. "We developed a very, very, very close connection, and I had a very special time filming those scenes. I'm very pleased with how they turned out."

At the premiere, Hauser walked the red carpet wearing a T-shirt featuring Liotta's character from Field of Dreams, and reflected on how big a fan he was of Liotta's amazing body of work. "So many great performances he left behind. Getting to meet him was super cool, he was really generous and funny," he said. "Ray’s just one of those guys -- he just can’t not be Ray. He’s sort of funny without knowing he’s funny sometimes. It was a real joy to be in his presence that short time."

Greg Kinnear, who plays a criminal investigator in the series, recalled how he became a fan of Liotta's before his own career had even taken off. "Way before I was an actor I saw a movie by Jonathan Demme, Something Wild. It became one of my favorite films," Kinnear shared. "Ray Liotta was a force of nature in that movie, I’ve watched him my entire career. It was such a thrill that he was in this."

While Kinnear and Liotta didn't share any scenes in the project, he admitted that he made sure their paths crossed at least a few times to have the opportunity to meet him and get to chat. "We had a lovely conversation, he gave me some advice on where to stay when I was doing a play in New York, he was just a lovely guy," he recalled. "His legacy will live on through so many great performances. And I say that not because this is his last complete thing, but he just genuinely is gangbusters in this."

In addition to Black Bird, Liotta has appeared in several posthumous projects, with Cocaine Bear and Fool's Paradise both released in theaters earlier this year while The Substance, Dangerous Waters and Clash are all set to come out at a later date. 

The 2023 Primetime Emmy Awards air live on Monday, Sept. 18, at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on Fox. In the meantime, stay tuned to ETonline.com for complete Emmys coverage.