Goodfellas movie inspiration gangster, Henry Hill, dies aged 69

Written on:June 13, 2023
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Mob rat Henry Hill was immortalized in the movie Goodfellas

Henry Hill, the gangster turned FBI informant, whose life inspired Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning film Goodfellas, died in Los Angeles, at the age of 69, one day after his birthday.

Lisa Caserta, Hill’s partner and manager reported Hill’s death as caused by complication from a recent heart attack. “He had been sick for a long time, his heart gave out”, informed Caserta.

CBS News reported Caserta saying, “he went out pretty peacefully, for a goodfella.” Hill was born in an Italian-Irish family and was associated with the Lucchese crime family in New York. The noted gangster was involved in several criminal acts such as the theft of £3.2 million cash and £560,000 worth of jewels.

His 20 years long gangster life came to an end in 1980 after he was arrested on a narcotics-trafficking charge. Hill then agreed to testify against his former mafia bosses to avoid prison. His testimony led to 50 convictions. A witness protection given to him was withdrawn after he was found guilty of multiple drug related charges.

In recent years he opened a restaurant called Wiseguys, marketed his own spaghetti and also appeared on the Howard Stern Show. Scorsese’s film on Hill that got six Oscars including best director and best film was based on a 1986 book Wiseguy, written by crime reporter Nicholas Pileggi, which documented the gangster’s life.

“Although I played Henry Hill in the movie Goodfellas I only met him a few short times so I can’t say I knew him but, I do know he lived a complicated life”, said Ray Liotta, who portrayed Hill in Goodfellas, on Henry Hill’s death.


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