'Goodfellas' Mobster Henry Hill Dies at 69Mike Sampson |
Henry Hill, the real life mobster who was the basis for Martin Scorsese's classic 'Goodfellas,' died yesterday at the age of 69. And no, he wasn't whacked.
Hill was a New York City-area mobster who eventually testified against his former associates in the Lucchese crime family. Hill and his wife, Karen, entered into the U.S. Marshals' Witness Protection Program in 1980, though Hill was expelled from the program in 1990 after he was convicted of numerous drug-related charges.
Hill, whose later years in the crime family were a blur of cocaine, heroin and Quaaludes, was never able to shake his drug and alcohol problems. His current girlfriend claims Hill died after a long battle with an undisclosed illness but years of drug and alcohol abuse likely contributed to his passing.
The mobster was famously played by Ray Liotta in 1990's 'Goodfellas,' one of the best crime movies of all-time. The film opens with the famous declaration from Hill, "As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster."
Hill had attempted to parlay his 'Goodfellas' fame into financial success, releasing a line of pasta sauce and selling paintings on eBay but had difficulty finding respect after the movie and the public knowledge that his testimony resulted in the convictions of over 50 members of the Lucchese family.
And now one of the most famous scenes of Henry Hill from 'Goodfellas' - the classic Copacabana tracking shot.