9. Tommy DeVito In Goodfellas (1990)
Assassinated By: Associates of Billy Blatts, whom Tommy killed
Cause of Death: Shot in the back of the head after being tricked into thinking he's about to be "made"
For a guy who talks all kinds of shit and shoots people at will, Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci) should've anticipated retaliation of some kind. But there's a clear look of surprise on his face as his big moment of Mafia coronation turns out to be a tragic set-up.
In Martin Scorsese's mobster films, nobody dies better than Pesci; seriously, it's pretty much a prerequisite for Uncle Marty's gangster pictures that the diminutive Pesci's character must die graphically. It says a lot about the actor, then, that his death scenes are always downers, albeit entertaining and masterfully staged ones.
In Goodfellas, Pesci's Tommy is a loose cannon whose bruised ego leads to the sudden murder of Billy Batts. Since it's a mob flick, however, he doesn't get away with it scot-free. After a touching moment with his loving mother, a proud Tommy walks right into a set-up. The room in which he's supposed to earn capo status is empty, and the look of "Oh, shit" understanding is quickly blown off by a handgun. As always, Pesci turns "getting whacked" into an art-form.