Making a movie takes years. Over the course of getting a story from the script to the screen, there are rewrites, reshoots, and countless edits—and, sometimes, real life can have a catastrophic effect on the fiction that filmmakers are trying to create. But rarely does an actual tragedy cause more heartache and horror for a production than when a key actor passes away.
It’s a potentially blockbuster-dismantling grief, and it’s one that the new comedy-thriller Cocaine Bear, which opens Friday, faced when Ray Liotta died in May 2022. In honor of the late Goodfellas star, here are the best instances of actors not just starring in movies released after their death, but absolutely nailing their posthumous performance.