MATERIAL: Watercolor
TYPE: Painting
DIMENSIONS: 15 in. x 11 in.
COMPONENTS: Signed in black felt tip at lower-right. Hill also signs on verso, adding date 'May 08'. Accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from Hill, also signed in black felt tip.
NOTES: Fine.
ITEM ID: 5426
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A Painting by “Goodfella” Henry Hill

Century: 20th (1901-2000)

Painting by former mobster, Henry Hill, Jr., of the famed JFK Lufthansa heist in 1978.

Name: Henry Hill, Jr.
Type: Artist
Artists Dates: June 11, 1943 – June 12, 2012
Artist Information: Henry Hill Jr., an American mobster who was associated with the Lucchese crime family of New York City from 1955 until 1980, when he was arrested on narcotics charges and became an FBI informant. Hill testified against his former Mafia associates, resulting in 50 convictions, including those of caporegime (captain) Paul Vario and fellow associate James Burke on multiple charges. He subsequently entered the Witness Protection Program, but was removed from the program in the early 1990s. Hill's life story was documented in the true crime book Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family by Nicholas Pileggi, which was subsequently adapted by Martin Scorsese into the critically acclaimed 1990 film Goodfellas, in which Hill was portrayed by Ray Liotta. Goodfellas, the 1990 Martin Scorsese-directed crime film adaptation of the 1985 non-fiction book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi, follows the 1955 to 1980 rise and fall of Hill and his Lucchese crime family associates. Scorsese initially named the film Wise Guy but subsequently, with Pileggi's agreement, changed the name to Goodfellas to avoid confusion with the unrelated television crime drama Wiseguy.   Two weeks in advance of the filming, Hill was paid $480,000. Robert De Niro, who portrayed Jimmy Burke, often called Hill several times a day to ask how Burke walked, held his cigarette, and so on.   Driving to and from the set, Liotta listened to FBI audio cassette tapes of Hill, so he could practice speaking like his real-life counterpart. The cast did not meet Hill until a few weeks before the film's premiere. Liotta met him in an undisclosed city; Hill had seen the film and told the actor that he loved it.