'Mob Wives' reality star Angela 'Big Ang' Raiola dies

NEW YORK -- Angela "Big Ang" Raiola, the raspy-voiced bar owner who gained fame on the reality TV series "Mob Wives," died early Thursday, nearly a year after being diagnosed with throat cancer.

See Full Article

She was 55.

Raiola died at a New York City hospital while surrounded by friends and family, said series producer Jennifer Graziano.

A statement posted from Raiola's Twitter account said she had "peacefully ended her battle with cancer."

"YOU (Her fans) were some of the most special people in her world, and she loved you immensely," said the statement. "Thank you for your love, prayers, and unconditional support of Angela right to the end."

Raiola was initially diagnosed in March 2015 with throat cancer that spread to her brain and lung.

Even as she fought the disease, the native New Yorker remained the candid, colorful figure that viewers came to know on VH1's "Mob Wives" and her two sequels.

"You can call me Angela. I'll call you handsome," she told TV host Dr. Mehmet Oz during a pre-taped appearance that aired on his "Dr. Oz" show Feb. 16.

Raiola, nicknamed Big Ang for her nearly 6-foot height, told Oz she was trying to keep her spirits up as chemotherapy and radiation failed to check the disease. She had already undergone several surgeries, and her trademark flowing black hair was gone, replaced by a short, blond cut.

"I look at my kids and my grandchildren and I know how much they need me," said Raiola, who lived with her daughter Raquel's family on New York's Staten Island, where Raiola ran the Drunken Monkey bar.

She wasn't technically a mob wife: Raiola's inclusion on the cable show's second season in 2012 came courtesy of her uncle, the late Salvatore "Sally Dogs" Lombardi, a reputed captain of the Genovese crime family.

Raiola, known as a peacemaker when other cast members clashed, proved a standout. She starred in the spin-off "Big Ang" and its retooled version, "Miami Monkey," although both were short-lived. Family members including her son, Anthony, and her sister, Janine, were among those who joined in her TV fame.

A cigarette smoker for 40 years, Raiola said she stopped immediately after her first cancer diagnosis last year. Her doctors told her the disease was "positively" caused by smoking, she said, and she called for people to quit the habit or resist picking it up.

Her sister and brother-in-law were key members of her support team, Raiola told Oz, but she said her husband, Neil Murphy, was no longer part of her life.

Funeral arrangements were pending.

It is with sad regret that we inform you that at 3:01AM Angela Raiola peacefully ended her battle with cancer, and was called home. She was surrounded by nothing but love from her immediate family, and closest friends. YOU, (Her fans) were some of the most special people in her world, and she loved you immensely. Thank you for your love, prayers, and unconditional support of Angela right to the very end. She truly went out richer than any monetary value could ever amount to. The family asks for privacy, and peace during this most difficult time. In typical Big Ang fashion, we know she would say "Love you my babies!" This page will remain open as a celebration of who she was and will always be. It has been my esteemed privilege, and honor to represent her in the highest regard via social media. -Vinnie Medugno (@vinniemedugno)

A photo posted by biggangvh1 (@biggangvh1) on



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Colin Farrell in talks for 'Dumbo'

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Colin Farrell has become the latest star linked to Disney’s live-action Dumbo remake. The Irish actor is in talks to join the cast of the film about a flying circus elephant in the role Will Smith was initially slated to play. Source
  • Drake's 'More Life' opens at No. 1

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Rapper Drake has scored his seventh number one record on the Billboard 200 albums chart with More Life. The Hotline Bling rapper’s album was released on March 18 and has sold 505,000 equivalent album units to take the top spot. Source
  • Actress, producer-writer of 'Orange Is The New Black' marry

    Entertainment CTV News
    PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — An actress and producer-writer from "Orange Is The New Black" have married. Actress Samira Wiley, who plays the character Poussey Washington on the Netflix show, and Lauren Morelli wedded Saturday in Palm Springs, where they were engaged. Source
  • Antonio Banderas says he suffered a heart attack

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    MADRID — Spanish film star Antonio Banderas says he has recovered from a heart attack that he had in January. The 56-year-old Banderas tells Spanish media that “I suffered a heart attack on Jan. 26, but it wasn’t serious and hasn’t caused any damage. Source
  • 'Orange Is the New Black' actress Samira Wiley weds partner Lauren Morelli

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Orange Is the New Black star Samira Wiley is married. The actress wed her longtime partner Lauren Morelli on Saturday surrounded by family and friends in a ceremony held in Palm Springs, California, People reports. The confetti-themed nuptials were a non-traditional event, and Wiley’s parents officiated the ceremony, according to Martha Stewart Weddings. Source
  • 'Beauty and the Beast' continues box-office reign

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    LOS ANGELES — Disney’s live-action “Beauty and the Beast” has continued to enchant audiences in its second weekend in theatres. Studio estimates say the film added $88.3 million to its total this weekend, down only 49% from its massive debut. Source
  • Petition to boycott Netflix's 'whitewashed' Death Note nears 10,000 supporters

    Entertainment CBC News
    A petition calling for the boycott of Netflix's upcoming movie Death Note because of casting decisions is getting close to its goal of 10,000 signatures. The move comes after a trailer for the film, which is based on the popular Japanese manga series with the same title, was released earlier this week and revealed white actors in the lead roles. Source
  • 'Power Rangers' fails to knock out 'Beauty and the Beast' at box office

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- Disney's live-action "Beauty and the Beast" has continued to enchant audiences in its second weekend in theatres. Studio estimates say the film added $88.3 million to its total this weekend, down only 49 per cent from its massive debut. Source
  • Popular Fearless Girl statue might stay on Wall Street

    Entertainment CBC News
    Should the Fearless Girl stand up to Wall Street's charging bull forever? That's the question New York City officials are facing after a statue of a pony-tailed girl in a windblown dress went up in front of the bronze bull early this month and immediately became a tourist draw and Internet sensation. Source
  • Girls Aloud's Cheryl, One Direction's Liam Payne announce birth of son

    Entertainment CTV News
    LONDON -- Former Girls Aloud star Cheryl and her partner Liam Payne of One Direction fame have announced the birth of their first child. Cheryl said on Instagram Saturday night that their son was born Wednesday and has not been named. Source