Angela Raiola, better known as Big Ang on VH1‘s reality series “Mob Wives,” has died. She was 55 years old.
Raiola had been battling brain and lung cancer, according to a GoFundMe page set up to help pay for her treatments. Her struggles with the disease have also been documented on the current season of “Mob Wives.”
Following several premature, erroneous reports, the news of Raiola’s death was announced early Thursday morning by her friend Vinnie Medugno, via her official Twitter account:
— Angela Raiola (@biggangVH1) February 18, 2016
Raiola was the niece of Salvatore “Sally Dogs” Lombardi, a captain of the Genovese crime family. She joined “Mob Wives” in its second season and her larger-than-life presence on the show quickly made her a fan favorite. Prior to Raiola’s death, VH1 had already announced the current sixth season would also be the reality series’ last.
Fellow “Mob Wives” cast members Renee Graziano and Carla Facciolo have taken to Twitter to post tributes to their friend:
RIP ANGELA .. FOREVER IN MY ❤
— Renee Graziano (@reneegraziano) February 18, 2016
My beautiful friend is with the Angels now . Angela u will be missed more than anyone I knw ! U… https://t.co/6pOC1BxBVg
— Carla Facciolo (@Carlafacciolo) February 18, 2016
By Sarene Leeds