Ray was shooting a movie called "Dangerous Waters" on the island, and a source close to the actor tells TMZ ... he died in his sleep. We're also told there was nothing suspicious about the death, and no foul play is suspected.
Ray's fiancée Jacy Nittolo was with him in the D.R. while he was working on the project.
Ray lobbied hard for the role, and the film's success opened so many doors for him in Hollywood ... he worked almost nonstop.
The year before "Goodfellas" he had co-starred with Kevin Costner in another iconic film, "Field of Dreams" ... in which he played Shoeless Joe Jackson.
Ray went on to star in countless other films, including "Cop Land," "Corrina Corrina," "Operation Dumbo Drop," "Unforgettable," "Wild Hogs" and "Blow" ... in which he played Fred Jung, father to Johnny Depp's character, George Jung.
Jacy and Ray got engaged in 2020, right around Christmas. He excitedly shared the happy news on Instagram.
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He has one daughter, Karsen Liotta, from his previous marriage to Michelle Grace. Karsen is following in her dad's acting footsteps.