Liotta's family and famous friends gathered to celebrate his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Friday.
Ray Liotta's family and famous friends gathered on Friday to pay tribute to the late actor as he received a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The actor died in his sleep on May 26, 2022, while in production on an upcoming film, Dangerous Waters, in the Dominican Republic, but he was aware of the Walk of Fame honor prior to his death.
Liotta's daughter, Karsen, spoke at the ceremony, and she shared exclusively with ET's Will Marfuggi how much the honor meant to her father.
"It was a huge honor for him and he was proud of himself, as me and my whole family were," she noted. "I know it was definitely very special to him and it was a monumental moment in his career."
The proud daughter also said her dad would have been "surprised" by the outpouring of support following his death.
"I mean, of course everybody loved him, but he didn't look at his life and his work as if everybody's watching all the time," she explained. "He did it because he loved it."
Karsen began her speech by sharing a letter from Liotta's Goodfellas director, Martin Scorsese, who was unable to attend the ceremony.
"I'm sorry that I can't be there in person today for the unveiling of the star for Ray Liotta," the letter read. "After Goodfellas, I always expected that I would work with Ray again. I always thought that he would be there. I still find myself thinking, 'When will Ray and I make another picture?' and then I remember he's gone far too soon. We think we have enough time, but we have no control over our fate."
"Ray was a remarkable talent on Goodfellas -- we were working improvisationally most of the time, and the core group consisted of people I'd known and worked with for years," he continued. "Ray jumped right in. He never missed a beat, he fit in perfectly and was able to roll with the punches, figuratively and literally."
Scorsese's letter also recalled how Liotta's mother died in the middle of filming Goodfellas, with the director remembering how the actor insisted on finishing his day and channeling his extreme emotions into the scenes. "It was a deeply moving moment, one that I'll never forget -- and neither will Ray's fellow actors, that included my father, who was in the scene with him," he shared.
Ultimately, Karsen said she was "so touched to be accepting this honor in the name of my dad."
"I couldn't be more proud of him," she added. "He was a one-of-a-kind actor, a best friend, brother and father... Everyone deserves a Ray in their life."
Elizabeth Banks, who directed Liotta in one of his final films, Cocaine Bear, spoke fondly about the actor as an "excited, committed professional."
"When any actor of Ray's caliber puts trust in you as an actor, it's a gift, but Ray gave me so much more," she shared, recalling a story about actress Bette Davis, who would reportedly gauge the fortitude of a new director by sitting in their chair on the first day and waiting to see if they had the guts to tell her to move.
"I have been told by a big Hollywood producer that men like Ray wouldn't follow me as a director, that I couldn't direct action because of that," she continued, "but I know where to sit and Ray knew I did, so Ray's respect for me as a director, as his boss on set, meant everything to me. Because if you can direct Henry Hill, you can do f**king anything in this town."
Banks previously told ET that Liotta was able to see a cut of Cocaine Bear before he died.
"I'm very grateful Ray Liotta blessed my life, 'cause I will carry the confidence he gave me forever," she added in her speech. "I am grateful I got to hug Ray a couple weeks before he passed and I got to show him our zany movie, and, boy, am I grateful that he laughed and he said, 'Good job.'"
Taron Egerton also spoke at the ceremony, recalling his time working with Liotta -- who played his father in the recent Apple TV+ series, Black Bird.
"When I watch those scenes, I know they are the best acting of my career that's because of Ray," he shared. "One of my last texts to him was a congratulations for his stellar performance in our show. He responded by saying, 'You made it easy to love, my son.' Ray Liotta, you made it easy to love you back."