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Ray Liotta Voiced More Animated Characters Than You Probably Realize

The death of one of Hollywood's most prolific actors causes us to look back on a career that spanned many different genres over the past four decades. Ray Liotta portrayed everything from a baseball-playing ghost in "Field of Dreams" to a tough mobster in "Goodfellas." He appeared in over 120 projects (per his IMDb page) and had six in various stages of production at the time of his death. However, he also has a group of credits you may not know about.

Animated movies and TV series employ a large group of talented voice actors who typically pull double, triple, and quadruple duty (at least, in many cases) to bring their characters to life. People like Seth MacFarlane and Mark Hamill are widely known for their voice work. Often, bigger productions such as Disney animated features or generational powerhouses like "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy" will land big names to make cameos in their productions.

Ray Liotta was a reasonably big name, and he wasn't about to be left out of the fun. Throughout his long career, he had numerous voice credits to his name. Here are the many animated features Liotta appeared in that you may not have known about.

He convinced Brian to become an adult film director in Family Guy

Speaking of Seth MacFarlane, "Family Guy" is still going strong more than 20 years after it first aired in 1999. Pushing the boundaries by tackling tough subjects on all sides of the social and political aisles, the animated classic follows the Griffin family as they navigate their regular everyday life in the fictional Rhode Island town of Quahog. Their incredibly dysfunctional family has persevered through 390 episodes, even against other long-running animated cultural icons like "South Park" and "The Simpsons."

Season 3 of the series aired in the summer of 2001 and began with Brian (MacFarlane), the family dog, becoming an addict and going to rehab in the premier. After exiting the rehab center, Brian announces to everyone that he is moving to Hollywood. Once he is there, he inadvertently becomes an adult film director and even wins a Woody Award. Ray Liotta appears as Zack, a producer who convinces Brian to direct his first film.

While Liotta has always been an actor who can portray the darker side of the human condition, even in animation, he pulled off the skeezy adult film type all too well.

He was a 'Badfella' in Bee Movie

It's become a fun little trope in animated works for famous people to portray an exaggerated version of themselves. While most of these appearances are limited to TV series such as "Family Guy" and "The Simpsons," every once in a while, an actor will get the opportunity to do so in an animated feature film. Liotta got his chance to play himself in the 2007 flick "Bee Movie."

The film follows Barry B. Benson (Jerry Seinfeld, who also writes) as a bee who isn't thrilled with his choices in life. He strikes out on his own by sneaking out of the hive and exploring the real world, only to befriend Vanessa Bloome (Renee Zellweger) and discover the exploitation of bees at the hands of humans. Liotta appears as himself, taking the stand in a lawsuit against humans to speak about his honey brand. It is a short but hilarious appearance featuring perhaps the funniest line in the movie: "This isn't a goodfella; it's a badfella!"

The movie wasn't well-received. Roger Ebert said in his review, "All of this material, written by Seinfeld and writers associated with his television series, tries hard but never really takes off. We learn at the outset of the movie that bees theoretically cannot fly. Unfortunately, in the movie, that applies only to the screenplay." Even still, Liotta himself said he would have liked to do it again.

He bullied Spongebob In Spongebob Squarepants

"SpongeBob SquarePants" is the three-decade-old animated masterpiece of TV taking place in the all-too-real Bikini Bottom. The titular character (Tom Kenny) taught an entire generation what it meant to live with confidence, hope, and positive thinking. Not only did he live in a pineapple under the sea, but he did so with a cadre of friends who taught everyone to live as their authentic selves, regardless of how others feel.

In 2008, the half-hour special "WhoBob WhatPants" saw SpongeBob doing his best Jason Bourne impression as he forgets who he is and wanders the ocean until he becomes the reluctant hero in the rough town of "New Kelp." Liotta appears as the Fonzie-esque leader of the Bubble Poppin Boys, the tyrannical gang. Once he becomes the hero of New Kelp, SpongeBob has to decide if he will return to his pineapple home and friends or stay on as the newest hero in the now-safe town.

Liotta's rendition as the gang leader was equal parts scary (for the show) and brilliant. As the gang approached SpongeBob, their clapping and uniformed movements perfectly resembled the gangs in "West Side Story." His rockin' 1950s-style hairdo complemented the character perfectly.

He gained his scary back as Dracula in Dear Dracula

When you think of Halloween, you typically think of scary ghouls, goblins, and monsters roaming the streets in search of citizens to frighten. Or, for the purer of mind, you think of those same beings knocking on doors searching for candy. Another tradition for a holiday is to binge scary movies as an adult and Halloween-themed family-friendly films for the kids. Movies like "Hocus Pocus" and "Hotel Transylvania" are some of the most popular. In 2012, Liotta added his own contribution to the family-friendly genre with "Dear Dracula."

The film follows Dracula (Ray Liotta) as he pays a visit to his biggest fan, Sam (Nathan Gamble). Sam writes to Dracula in place of Santa to ask for a Dracula figurine. On the insistence of his minion, Myro (Emilio Estevez), the demon of the night gives his biggest fan something even better, a real-life visit. When he arrives on Halloween, no one fears him, and he embarks on a journey to regain his confidence to be the best he can be.

While the film is largely overshadowed by the Adam Sandler-led Dracula story, "Hotel Transylvania," Emily Ashby had good things to say about "Dear Dracula" in her review for Common Sense Media. She says, "What starts as a cute premise for a story quickly blossoms into a full-blown treat for the whole family, thanks to visually pleasing animation and exceptional voice artists who capture the essence of the characters. From Marion Ross as Sam's spunky grandma to Liotta as the curmudgeonly Count, there's a delightful surprise around every corner of this funny, sweet Halloween story."

He rediscovered the magic in Abominable Christmas

The team from "Dear Dracula" must have enjoyed working together, as much of the cast returned for yet another holiday special, the 43-minute Christmas special, "Abominable Christmas." The returning cast members from "Dear Dracula" include Ray Liotta, Ariel Winter, Emilio Estevez, and Matthew Lillard.

The story follows two young abominable children, Abby (Winter) and Matt (Drake Bell), as they ignore the repeated warnings from their father (Liotta) by entering a small mountain town. Once there, they befriend two human children, Lily (Isabella Acres) and Adam (Nolan Gould), and masquerade as dogs. They catch the attention of a devious scientist, Margaret Knowhow (Jane Lynch), who is obsessed with proving the existence of the abominables. When their father gets in trouble while coming to rescue them, the snow monsters and humans must ban together to help them escape from the mad scientist's clutches.

Renee Longstreet wrote in her review, "Chances are this engaging effort won't be added to the list of perennial holiday classics, but the wholesome messages, comic danger, and humorous cultural references help a simple story come to life. The animation is basic; even the most dastardly villain is drawn funny and never scary, while the four children are distinctive and likable." Liotta reinvented the storyline reminiscent of "Harry and the Hendersons" for Christmas children in a short and lovable appearance as the father.

He was Moe's father on The Simpsons

Few TV series, much less animated, have lasted as long and had more cultural impact than "The Simpsons." As the source of countless conspiracy theories surrounding its prophetic nature (don't believe us? Check out this creepy list of all the times the show predicted the future), the show has remained culturally relevant since its premiere in 1989. Well over 700 episodes later, over the span of 33 seasons, the Simpsons remain one of the world's most famous animated families.

The Simpson family includes the patriarch Homer (Dan Castellaneta), his wife Marge (Julie Kavner), and their three children, Bart (Nancy Cartwright), Lisa (Yeardley Smith), and Maggie. While they are the main focus, there are many long-running supporting characters. One of the most common side characters is Moe (Hank Azaria), owner of Moe's Tavern, Homer's usual watering hole. In the 2018 episode "King Leer," audiences met Moe's father, Morty (Liotta) as the show took a rare look into the character's familial life. Liotta brought the perfect gruff voice to complement Moe's usual bitter and angry personality.

From "Goodfellas" to "Wild Hogs," Liotta made a career of stretching his abilities to many different characters across multiple genres. Mostly unknown to the casual fan, he accomplished the same thing in the animated world, becoming an accomplished voice actor.