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Ray Liotta Turned Down ‘Sopranos’

March 14, 2001 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) _ Just when he thought he was out, they pulled him back in _ almost.

Ray Liotta said he was offered a part on the HBO mob drama ``The Sopranos,″ but he turned it down because he wanted to focus on movies.

Liotta knows a little something about the mob, having co-starred as Henry Hill in Martin Scorsese’s 1990 film ``Goodfellas.″ Taking the part would have reunited him with Lorraine Bracco, who plays Dr. Melfi on ``The Sopranos″ and played his wife in the film.

``It was for a two-year commitment and I didn’t really want to give up that time now,″ Liotta said Wednesday on NBC’s ``Today″ show. ``I would love to do a guest spot on there, do a couple of episodes. Having done `Goodfellas,′ it’s definitely a genre I’m familiar with.″

The 45-year-old actor has enough going on these days, co-starring in the comedy ``Heartbreakers,″ which opens March 23, and ``Blow,″ a drug trafficking drama that opens April 6. He also plays a Justice Department sleaze in ``Hannibal,″ which has grossed more than $151 million in the past five weeks.