Ray Liotta

Soul Brother/FilmMagic

Ray Liotta may be known for playing tough guys in movies like Goodfellas, but he's showing his softer side today.

The actor is in San Diego to help the Padres launch its new fundraising initiative for Stand Up to Cancer. The disease hits close to home for Liotta…

His mom died of breast cancer at age 63 in 1991. He was making Goodfellas at the time. "It was filming in New York and I'm from New Jersey," he told me from the Padres stadium, PETCO Park, where he was getting to throw out the first ball. "After I finished work on Friday, I'd go home to spend time with her and then go back to work on Monday."

The Padres' program also offers fans opportunity to sign walls at the ballpark as a tribute to friends and family impacted by cancer.

Coincidentally, Liotta stars as a father whose son has cancer in the upcoming movie, Snowmen, and he just signed onto a flick in which he plays a doctor who has to tell a patient he has the disease. And when he was at a car wash yesterday someone he didn't even know opened up to him about surviving pancreatic cancer.

Liotta said, "There are so many signs telling me to get involved."

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See more celebs helping out in our Do-Gooder photo gallery.

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