Henry Hill, the mobster portrayed in the classic Goodfellas movie, has died. This time around, life fell short of imitating art, as Hill managed to escape the gruesome end that he apparently feared his entire life. The gangster tale did not play out as you may expect, for a man embroiled in mob politics. There was no drive-by shooting, no bullet to the head. Instead, Hill died, at the age of 69, in hospital, of heart failure, after a lengthy battle with ill health.

According to The Guardian, Hill often expressed (following the release of martin scorcese's 1990 movie) that he simply couldn't believe that he hadn't been murdered. He spent several years under witness protection after his testimony secured 50 mob convictions. He fully expected to die at the hands of his enemies. Hill's girlfriend Lisa explained to TMZ "he had been ill for a long time. his heart gave out." It was a gentle end for a man who had led a dramatic life, if the celluloid re-telling of it is to be believed. It's unclear why revenge was never sought; perhaps Hill had become such a legend as a result of his Hollywood connections, that taking him down was simply too risky. Perhaps his detractors were happy for him to lead his life, looking over his shoulder for them.

Henry Hill was played by Ray Liotta in the 1990 movie, alongside Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco and Paul Sorvino. The movie quickly became one of Scorcese's most revered cinematic high points and 22 years later, is considered a cult classic.