Henry Hill spent much of his life as a “goodfella,” believing his last moment would come with a bullet to the back of his head. In the end he died at a hospital after a long illness, going out like all the average nobodies he once pitied.
Hill, who went from small-time gangster to big-time celebrity when his life as a mobster-turned-FBI informant became the basis for the Martin Scorsese film “Goodfellas,” died Tuesday at age 69, longtime girlfriend Lisa Caserta told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Hill had open heart surgery last year and died of complications from longtime heart problems related to smoking, she said.
“He was a good soul towards the end … he started feeling remorseful,” she said.
An associate in New York’s Lucchese crime family, Hill told detailed, disturbing and often hilarious tales of life in the mob that first appeared in the 1986 book “Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family,” by Nicholas Pileggi, a journalist Hill sought out shortly after becoming an informant.