Henry Hill, Mobster Who Inspired Goodfellas, Dead at 69

Legendary Lucchese crime family associate Henry Hill, who turned FBI informant later in life and became the subject of Martin Scorsese's acclaimed crime film Goodfellas, passed away yesterday of an undisclosed illness he had apparently been battling for some time.

His girlfriend Lisa broke the news to TMZ. "He had been sick for a long time," she said. "His heart gave out."

Hill's notorious life of crime as an associate of the powerful Lucchese crime family, and his subsequent cooperation with the FBI as an informant, were chronicled in Nicholas Pileggi 1986 non-fiction title Wiseguy.

Pileggi's book was eventually adapted for the big screen by Martin Scorsese and renamed Goodfellas. Hill was portrayed onscreen by Ray Liotta.

After testifying against his former associates, Hill was placed under the Witness Protection Program. He was expelled in the early 90's for committing a number of crimes.

A frequent guest on The Howard Stern Show, Hill's last years were spent attempting to overcome a drinking problem. He was also the owner of a restaurant called Wiseguys, and sold his own line of spaghetti sauce over the Internet.

[photo via AP]