The mobster-turned-FBI informant who became the inspiration for Martin Scorsese's film Goodfellas has died aged 69 after a long illness.
Henry Hill went from small-time gangster to a big celebrity when the 1986 book Wiseguy: Life In A Mafia Family was published.
The book, by journalist Nicholas Pileggi, told detailed, disturbing and often hilarious tales of Hill's life in the mob.
"Henry Hill was a hood. He was a hustler. He had schemed and plotted and broken heads," Pileggi wrote in the book.
"He knew how to bribe and he knew how to con. He was a full-time working racketeer, an articulate hoodlum from organised crime."
Born on June 11, 1943, in Brooklyn, New York, Hill was an associate of New York City's Lucchese crime family from the 1960s into the 1980s.
His crimes included dealing drugs and hijacking trucks, and he was involved in the 1967 Air France robbery in which \$420,000 (£271,000) was stolen from the airline's terminal at New York's John F Kennedy International Airport.
Hill spent six years in prison for extortion but continued his criminal activities while behind bars.
His most famous heist was in December 1978, months after he was released from prison, when he and others stole \$5m (£3.2m) from Lufthansa Airlines at JFK airport.
Fearing for his life afterwards when his associates were killed, Hill became an informant for the FBI.
Hill, his wife Karen, and their children Gregg and Gina entered the government's witness protection programme and he testified against his former crime bosses.
"The arrest of Henry Hill was a price beyond measure," Pileggi wrote.
''Hill had grown up in the mob. He was only a mechanic, but he knew everything. He knew how it worked. He knew who oiled the machinery. He knew, literally, where the bodies were buried.
"If he talked, police knew that Henry Hill could give them the key to dozens of indictments and convictions."
He and his wife were expelled from the programme in the early 1990s after he was arrested on drugs charges. Hill went back to living under his own name. The couple divorced in 1989.
Goodfellas, starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Ray Liotta as Hill, became an instant hit and a constantly quoted pop cultural phenomenon.
In the book and the film Hill talks about how hard it was to lead an ordinary life after years steeped in gangster glamour.
"I had paper bags filled with jewellery stashed in the kitchen. I had a sugar bowl full of coke next to the bed. Anything I wanted was a phone call away," Hill says in the film.
"Today, everything is different. There's no action. I have to wait around like everyone else. Can't even get decent food. Right after I got here I ordered some spaghetti with marinara sauce, and I got egg noodles and ketchup. I'm an average nobody. I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook."
Hill's longtime girlfriend Lisa Caserta said he had open heart surgery last year and had died of complications from heart problems.
Ms Caserta described the contemporary Hill as a man who maintained a mobster's air of self-assurance and confidence but regretted his gangster past.
An avid painter who contributed his artwork to auctions, he gave money to causes ranging from local police cadets to the homeless, and every Thanksgiving for five years he would dish out food to the poor, said Ms Caserta.
She said Hill was not impressed by wealth or celebrity.
"He had it all twice," she said, referring to his years as a gangster and later as a celebrity.
Her son added: "He cared about family. He didn't care about all that stuff."