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Ray Liotta may have portrayed former mobster-turned-FBI informant Henry Hill in Martin Scorsese’s 1990 movie Goodfellas, but the actor says he actually didn’t know Hill very well.
“Although I played Henry Hill in the movie Goodfellas, I only met him a few short times so I can’t say I knew him but, I do know he lived a complicated life,” Liotta told TMZ on Wednesday, a day after Hill died at age 69.
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But the actor did offer his condolences to Hill’s loved ones.
“My heart goes out to his family and may he finally rest in peace,” Liotta said.
Hill died Tuesday in a Los Angeles hospital after a long battle with an undisclosed illness, his girlfriend, Lisa, told TMZ.
Hill, a onetime associate of the Lucchese crime family in New York, was involved in such criminal acts as the Lufthansa heist at John F. Kennedy International Airport in December 1978, during which a then-record $5 million as well as $875,000 in jewels were stolen.
The robbery became the subject of two television films and also played a role in Goodfellas.
Hill’s life was later documented in crime reporter Nicholas Pileggi’s 1986 nonfiction book Wiseguy, which became the basis for Goodfellas. The movie was nominated for a slew of Oscars, including best picture.
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Hill later turned into an FBI informant and spent several years under witness protection but was kicked out of the program for committing various crimes.
In more recent years, he became a frequent guest on The Howard Stern Show, marketed his own spaghetti sauce and opened a restaurant called Wiseguys.
In August, he appeared in an AMC special where he discussed such mob-themed movies as Goodfellas and The Godfather with other former mobsters. The cable network also is developing a Goodfellas TV series.
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