‘Mob Wives’ Cast Remembers Angela ‘Big Ang’ Raiola
When a woman’s larger-than-life personality earns her the moniker “Big Ang,” you can bet her absence will leave behind a correspondingly-massive hole.
Mob Wives star Angela Raiola, who was first diagnosed with cancer in early 2015, died early Thursday morning (February 18). Tumors initially detected in her throat had spread to her lung and brain, and her sister Janine Detore announced earlier this month that Big Ang had stopped responding to chemotherapy.
Raiola, who’d been a cast member on the VH1 reality show since its second season in 2012, was known for being the matriarchal type, and her fellow co-stars remembered her accordingly after news of her death spread.
Completely heartbroken this has been an emotional roller coaster for you, your family and the people that love you but throughout it all you never let this fucking disease take your spirit …you woke up every day and fought with amazing courage & dignity and looked beautiful doing it… nobody knows the true definition of being tough until they watch someone fight the battle you just did I admire your strength and courage!!!! Right up until the very end you laughed joked and made sure everyone around you was OK…You have a heart of gold my friend The amount of people that came together to support you speaks volumes of how much you are truly loved and respected…. You are an amazing soul and I am blessed to have had you in my life…rest in paradise Angel you will forever be loved & missed #fuckcancer
Karen Gravano recalled some of her final memories with Raiola in an Instagram post, in which she praised her friend for her strength. “You woke up every day and fought with amazing courage & dignity and looked beautiful doing it,” she wrote. “Nobody knows the true definition of being tough until they watch someone fight the battle you just did.”
Renee Graziano, Carla Facciolo and Drita Davanzo, the latter of whom E! News reported was with Raiola when she died, lamented the loss, and shared hope that their friend had achieved peace.
RIP ANGELA .. FOREVER IN MY ❤
— Renee Graziano (@reneegraziano) February 18, 2016
Mob Wives creator Jennifer Graziano, who also represented Raiola, remembered the way her friend brought joy to anyone she encountered.
“My heart is broken for her whole family — especially her children and grandchildren and I will never forget her,” Graziano said to E!. “Her presence brought sheer happiness to anyone that was around her and I am honored to have called her a friend.”
Have a favorite memory of Big Ang?? Share it in the comments.
Look back at stars we lost over the past year: