Henry Hill, the New York gangster made famous in the film Goodfellas (far left) has died in hospital, aged 69. Hill, who was portrayed by Ray Liotta in the Scorsese epic (near left) had long struggled with an unspecified illness and died of apparent heart failure on Tuesday. Apparently rumnours that he was finally ‘whacked’ are inaccurate.
Speaking to TMZ.com, his girlfriend, Lisa Caserta said; âHe had been sick for a long time…his heart gave out.â?
Hill had a turbulent life, most of which was documented in 1990’s Goodfellas (which was beaten to a host of Oscars by Dances With Wolves). He robbed two airports, first stealing $420,000 from the Air France cargo terminal at JFK airport, and then in 1978, was part of the infamous Lufthansa heist, in which around $5 Million in cash and $875,000 in jewels was stolen, making it at the time the biggest robbery to have been committed on U.S soil.
The mobster was later arrested on drugs charges, and he became an informant in 1980. The âwiseguyâ? became a minor celebrity after the release of Goodfellas, and later found work as a chef in an Italian restaurant, and even marketed his marinara sauce âSunday Gravyâ? over the internet. Hill appeared as a frequent guest on shock jock Howard Stern’s radio show, and made publicity appearances with Ray Liotta.
Hill had a drug problem, and was arrested many times since becoming an informant on narcotics-related charges. An alcoholic, he later entered rehab at Liotta’s urging.
Despite his life of crime, Hill believed himself to be repentant, telling the BBC âI’m doing the right thing now.â? Dying one day after his 69th birthday, Hill leaves behind two children.