Ray Liotta (Henry Hill)
THEN: Ray Liotta played real-life mobster Henry Hill, an associate of the Lucchese crime family. Hill starts the film off narrating, “As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster.” Unfortunately, after decades of the gangster life, he gets arrested and strikes up a deal that puts him in the Witness Protection Program: “I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook.”
NOW: After Goodfellas, Liotta starred in Unlawful Entry, reunited with Robert De Niro in Cop Land, portrayed Frank Sinatra in the TV movie The Rat Pack, and played Johnny Depp’s father in Blow. He’s also had a hodgepodge of appearances including ones in Date Night, The League, Muppets Most Wanted, and a David Guetta music video. His most recent projects include the History Channel miniseries Texas Rising and narrating the series The Making of the Mob: New York.
Robert De Niro (Jimmy Conway)
THEN: Robert De Niro, then already a two-time Academy Award winner, played Jimmy Conway, based on real-life gangster Jimmy Burke. He masterminds the infamous Lufthansa theft, but a few years later gets arrested when Henry Hill becomes an FBI informant.
NOW: De Niro and director Martin Scorsese continued with their collaborations in Cape Fear and Casino. After a history of mob roles, De Niro ventured into comedy, most notably with the Meet the Parents films. In 2012, he received his seventh Oscar nomination with his role in Silver Linings Playbook. His newest film, The Intern opposite Anne Hathaway, comes out Sept. 25. The actor recently confirmed that Scorsese’s film The Irishman is still in the works, with De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Al Pacino attached to star.
Joe Pesci (Tommy DeVito)
THEN: Joe Pesci played the hot-headed and volatile mobster Tommy DeVito, who eventually gets whacked for killing a made man.
NOW: Joe Pesci won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role, and later reunited with Scorsese and De Niro in Casino. Pesci also stepped out of the mob drama world with his role as one of the burglars in the family comedy films Home Alone and Home Alone 2. In 1999, Pesci announced his retirement from acting, but returned for a cameo in the De Niro-directed film The Good Shepherd and later starred in Love Ranch in 2010. De Niro recently confirmed that he, Pesci, and Scorsese are involved in The Irishman, a film about mob hitman Frank Sheeran.
Paul Sorvino (Paulie Cicero)
THEN: As boss Paulie Cicero, he once tells Henry, “I’m not going to get f—ed like Gribbs. He’s 70 years old and the f—ing guy is going to die in prison. I don’t need that.” Unfortunately, Cicero ends up dying in prison at age 73.
NOW: After Goodfellas, Sorvino starred in Law & Order for two seasons and portrayed Henry Kissinger in Nixon. He’s had a string of small roles in TV and film and can most recently be seen in a guest role in ABC’s The Goldbergs as Pop Pop.
Lorraine Bracco (Karen Hill)
THEN: For her breakout role in Goodfellas, Lorraine Bracco played Karen Hill, the long-suffering wife of Henry Hill. After years of putting up with his criminal activity and infidelity, she joins him in the Witness Protection Program.
NOW: Bracco earned an Oscar nomination for her role and later became one of several Goodfellas actors to appear in The Sopranos. As psychiatrist Dr. Jennifer Melfi on the HBO hit, Bracco earned four Emmy nominations and three Golden Globe nominations. She currently has a recurring role in Rizzoli & Isles. Outside of acting, Bracco is known as a foodie and has appeared as a guest judge on Top Chef and Throwdown! with Bobby Flay.
Frank Vincent (Billy Batts)
THEN: As Billy Batts, a made man in the Gambino crime family, Frank Vincent’s screen time was cut short when he got killed after making fun of Tommy DeVito’s shoeshine days.
NOW: After getting whacked by Pesci’s character in Goodfellas, Vincent went on to play his sidekick in Scorsese’s Casino. His most well-known role came in 2004 as Phil Leotardo, the boss of the Lupertazzi family in The Sopranos.
Debi Mazar (Sandy)
THEN: Debi Mazar, then known mostly for her appearances as a dancer in Madonna’s music videos, played one of Henry Hill’s mistresses, Sandy. Hill uses her apartment to run his drug business.
NOW: Mazar had supporting TV roles in Entourage and Living with Fran. She competed in the ninth season of Dancing with the Stars, but was eliminated during the third week. She and her husband also have their own cooking reality show called Extra Virgin, which airs on the Cooking Channel.
Samuel L. Jackson (Stacks Edwards)
THEN: In one of his earlier roles, Samuel L. Jackson had a brief turn as Stacks Edwards. After forgetting to get rid of the truck used in the Lufthansa heist, Tommy shoots Stacks in the head from behind as he’s putting on his shoes.
NOW: Jackson went on to play several iconic roles, including Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction, Jedi Master Mace Windu in Star Wars, and Nick Fury in the Marvel films. His latest project reunites him with Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained writer/director Quentin Tarantino in The Hateful Eight, which comes out Christmas Day.
Michael Imperioli (Spider)
THEN: Michael Imperioli had a brief, but memorable, appearance in Goodfellas as Spider, a young man working for the Luccheses who gets killed in one of Tommy DeVito’s outbursts.
NOW: Imperioli is best known as Christopher Moltisanti on The Sopranos, a role that earned him an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in 2004. He continued his TV roles with Life on Mars and Detroit 1-8-7. In 2014, he also won the Chopped “Tournament of Stars.”