Lifestyle & Belief

Tears for the original Goodfella: The real Henry Hill has died


Former American Mobster Henry Hill, who's life story inspired the film Goodfellas, appears in the audience during Spike TV's 4th Annual 'Guys Choice Awards' held at Sony Studios on June 5, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.


Kevin Winter

Henry Hill, the gangster-turned-government informant who inspired the movie "Goodfellas," has died.

Hill was 69. He died Tuesday as a result of heart problems related to a smoking habit, Associated Press said.

Hill, played by Ray Liotta in "Goodfellas," had been part of New York's Lucchese crime family and also inspired the 1986 book "Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family." 

Here's how the book described him, according to the AP: 

"Henry Hill was a hood. He was a hustler. He had schemed and plotted and broken heads. He knew how to bribe and he knew how to con. He was a full-time working racketeer, an articulate hoodlum from organized crime."

Hill, whose last big heist was stealing $5 million in cash from JFK in 1978, had been in the witness protection program for decades before his death in Los Angeles, Daily Mail said

In the past few years, though, he emerged, opening a restaurant, launching a brand of spaghetti sauce and going on TV to talk about gangster movies like the one his life inspired. 

While he had made peace with his family before his death, his girlfriend told Daily Mail she didn't think "he ever got over his demons."