Henry Hill, the former mobster turned government informant whose story was immortalized in the famous Academy Award® winning movie knew two things very well- the inner workings of the Mafia and good Italian food. He always said the only thing he loved more than being a mobster was the food. "I have a love affair with good food," Henry said. "Cooking is my salvation, my therapy and now my art." Henry was well known among his mob friends for his culinary expertise. He often cooked elaborate Italian meals for his crime family and their mob associates. Henry was a member of a powerful organized-crime family before deciding to become an informant. His subsequent testimony led to dozens of convictions and forced Hill to enter the witness protection program. His testimonies during his time in the witness protection program eventually sent 59 New York mobsters to prison. Henry was born in 1943 in Brooklyn, New York. Growing up, he became fascinated by the gangsters and their lifestyle. It wouldn't take long for him to become caught up in their world. He quickly became part of New York's mafia scene and even helped pull off the infamous 1978 Lufthansa heist, one of the biggest airport heists in history.
Henry Hill was living his dream and was on top of the world, but all good things must come to an end. By 1980, his world began to crumble. He feared for his life and the life of his family as it became more apparent with each passing day, that his associate intended to kill him. It was for this reason that Hill decided to became a government informant and the self proclaimed “proudest rat in the United States.” His testimony led to approximately fifty convictions and he went into Witness Protection Program. During the closing lines of the film, Hill’s character laments that he has become “an average nobody” and would get to live the rest of his life like a schnook. Well, life sure has a funny way of turning out a lot differently than you had expected, even in the case of Henry Hill.
Along with the infamous movie, several documentaries have been made made about Henry Hill’s life. Currently, there is talk of a network adding a TV series to its development slate. While the original movie took place over several decades, from the mid-fifties to the early eighties, it's not clear if the TV series will retain that narrative or if it will settle down into an earlier time period and advance the story at a slower pace. But the series will presumably retain Henry Hill and his associates as the main characters.
Click on the images below to watch Henry and others describe their lives as mobsters: