‘Goodfellas’ Star Ray Liotta Says He Got Revenge on Studio 54 Doorman Who Wouldn’t Let Him Into the ’80s NYC Club

studio 54

Actor Ray Liotta appeared last week on WTF with Marc Maron, where he spoke candidly about  a range of topics, including finding his birth mother, becoming a father at 44, and his persistence to make acting a career in the ’80s.

Prior to landing his pivotal role as Henry Hill in Martin Scorcese’s seminal 1990 film Goodfellas, where Liotta played Henry Hill, a drug-addicted New York mob associate, Liotta spoke of earlier roles, including a lucrative stint playing Joey Perrini on the NBC soap opera Another World from 1978 to 1981.

During the conversation Liotta mentioned going out to Studio 54, which caught Maron’s interest. The Manhattan disco owned by Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager was notorious for having a highly selective door policy. When asked what life was like in NYC in the ’80s, Liotta relayed a hilarious story about encountering one of the famed club’s doormen years later in Los Angeles years after the club had closed.

“There was a guy, the doorman, and he would never ever let me in. But if Steve Rubell, one of the owners, saw me he would always let me in,” said Liotta.

“Cut to maybe 10 or 15 years later and I see the doorman in Century City. He comes up to me and says [he] wants to ask questions about being an actor and everything, you know. And I remembered him as a doorman [who] never let me in, and I went fuckin’ nuts on him. I went nuts, because it was so humiliating to be in line, waiting to get into Studio 54 on a Monday or a Tuesday night, never mind a weekend, and just him poo-pooing me that I never forgot it.”

Liotta continued: “And I said, ‘You never let me in. [He said] I was just doing my job. I said, ‘Nah!’ I keep going and going at him. I just held onto it for a long time.” [Laughs]

Maron asked if he eventually offered the club’s ex-doorman career advice after he vented.

Liotta laughed. “No! Done. Over. Next.”

If Henry Hill were alive he’d definitely agree that was a gangster move.

Listen to the full episode of the podcast here.

Darren Ressler

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