'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

  • Technical problems force HBO to scrap Jon Stewart venture

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- HBO is scrapping a web-delivered satirical project it was developing with Jon Stewart, a change of plans that keeps the popular political humorist on the sidelines as the Trump administration continues to provide his fellow comedians with comic gold. Source
  • No punishment for Stephen Colbert's Trump joke, says FCC

    Entertainment CBC News
    There will be no fine for Stephen Colbert's risqué joke about U.S. President Donald Trump. A Federal Communications Commission spokesman said Tuesday that the agency received "thousands" of complaints about the late-night host's May 1 show, so it reviewed the material as "standard operating procedure. Source
  • Serena Williams accepts a new challenge - in Silicon Valley

    Entertainment CTV News
    SAN FRANCISCO -- Tennis star Serena Williams has 39 Grand Slam titles, four Olympic medals, major endorsement deals and her own line of clothing and accessories. Now she is embarking on a new mission: She says she wants to help tech companies diversify their workforces and solve one of the industry's most vexing problems. Source
  • Topher Grace on growing up on 'That '70s Show', Netflix vs. cinema and 'War Machine'

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    If first impressions count for anything, Topher Grace is a helluva nice guy. Best-known for his TV run on That ’70s Show, Grace is part of the all-star cast of War Machine, a new Netflix movie streaming Friday. Source
  • Critique of Lou Reed song as 'transphobic' renews campus sensitivity debate

    Entertainment CTV News
    The criticism of Lou Reed's classic hit "Walk on the Wild Side" as "transphobic" at an Ontario university has reignited the long-simmering debate around the impact of cultural sensitivity on campuses and whether there's a chill on freedom of speech and topics that could offend. Source
  • ‘Baywatch’ review: Only the penis jokes are funny in Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron’s muscle-bound misfire [Video]

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Back in 2015, Dwayne Johnson joked on Saturday Night Live about being “franchise viagra.” He has reinvigorated the G.I. Joe franchise, Disney’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth and has arguably become the biggest star in the Fast and the Furious series thanks to his scene-stealing role as Agent Hobbs (and for the record, yes, we want that spinoff please). Source
  • Alias Grace, Frankie Drake Mysteries, 21 Thunder set for CBC-TV

    Entertainment CBC News
    The anticipated miniseries Alias Grace, a female detective series from the producers of Murdoch Mysteries, fast-paced soccer drama 21 Thunderand a new Allan Hawco drama based on Lisa Moore's bestseller Caughtare part of a packed lineup of new programming coming to CBC. Source
  • 'Clerks' actress Lisa Spoonauer dies in New Jersey at 44

    Entertainment CTV News
    JACKSON, N.J. - An actress who starred in the 1994 award-winning movie "Clerks" has died. Lisa Spoonauer was 44. The George Hassler Funeral Home says Spoonauer died Sunday at her home in Jackson, New Jersey. Source
  • Chris Cornell cremated in private ceremony

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Late rocker Chris Cornell was reportedly cremated at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Tuesday. The Soundgarden and Audioslave singer was found dead following his band’s show in Detroit, Michigan on 17 May, and a coroner subsequently ruled the 52-year-old’s passing a suicide by hanging. Source
  • 'Clerks' star Lisa Spoonauer dies at 44

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Devastated to report that #LisaSpoonauer, who played Caitlin in #clerks, has passed away. In 1992, I went looking for Lisa without knowing either who she was or the integral role she'd play in my life. Source