Angela Raiola

Big Ang with granddaughter

The realization that Mob Wives’ most beloved star Big Ang Raiola has passed away from cancer still hasn’t really hit me yet. While she prided herself on her larger than life, surgically enhanced features, I think we can all agree, they paled in size compared to her giant, compassionate heart and her friendly, genuine smile. The world is a little smaller without her in it, but I am grateful she shared her vibrant personality with all of us who watched the show. 

Big Ang was the only reason to watch Mob Wives. As her co-stars brawl and partake in scripted drama, we could count on Ang to share no nonsense advice and sometimes humorously stirring the pot. While the current season features Ang’s second battle with cancer, here’s hoping her co-stars truly learn that there are much, MUCH more important things in life than holding grudges…if only to honor their true, sweet friend.

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blonde hair big ang mob wives

News of Big Ang’s death has spread quickly this morning and her friends, co-stars and fellow reality TV stars took to Instagram to share their tributes. 

Everyone from Sheree Whitfield to Drita D’Avanzo and Renee Graziano and so many more, the stars shared their favorite pictures and thoughts about the beloved Mob Wives star.   Big Ang was loved by all who met her and will be missed by so many. 

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 15: Angela 'Big Ang' Raiola of 'Mob Wives' visits at SiriusXM Studios on December 15, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)

After a year-long battle with throat, lung and brain cancer, Big Ang passed away at 3:01 a.m.  The Mob Wives star, whose real name was Angela Raiola, was just 55 years old. 

Angela’s death was confirmed by her friend Vinnie Medugno early this morning.  He wrote, “It is with sad regret that we inform you that at 3:01 a.m. Angelia Raiola peacefully ended her battle with cancer, and was called home. She was surrounded by nothing but love from her immediate family, and the closest friends. YOU, (her fans) were some of the most special people in the world, and she loved you immensely. Thank you for your love, prayers, and unconditional support of Angela right to the very end.”

mob wives marissa karen carla

I wonder if the ladies of Mob Wives remember that warehouse round-table where the vowed to leave their anger behind and not speak poorly about each other. It doesn’t seem like it! Renee Graziano is hopeful that the women are moving forward, and she’s hosting the group (sans Prissy Marissy) at a baseball game. 

Renee, Carla Facciolo, and Karen Gravano argue about the protocol of placing one’s hand over one’s heart during the national anthem…and they are having this debate during the actual national anthem. As if their loud banter isn’t disrespectful enough, Karen swears up and down that your supposed to put your hand over your heart during the Star-Spangled Banner, not the national anthem. It takes her the entire song–and prodding from Renee–to realize the songs are one and the same. Patriotism at its finest. Big Ang is looking great despite her recent tests to determine the mass on her lungs, and all of the ladies agree that their beef is extremely petty in comparison to what she’s facing. Drita D’avanzo arrives with Brittany Fogarty who is understandably wary about facing this group of hens after their last encounter. She’s hoping she and Karen can move forward after last week’s tense chat, and she invites the ladies to come watch her watch in one of the many shows that she’ll be walking in for New York Fashion Week. Wait, what? 

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mob wives brittany

Put a fork in Mob Wives…it’s done. Just don’t put a fork in Brittany Fogarty’s hand because she’s likely to gouge out Marissa’s eyes. That was one of the most comical wannabe smack downs in reality television history. Marissa in her stilettos and Victoria’s Secret get-up managed to get the only punch in on the farmer newbie. Farmer Brittany tried her best to get in a swing, scaling fences and wriggling out of the umpteen bouncers trying to contain her as she and not-so-prissy Marissy scream c-u-next-Tuesday insults that would make Ericka Jayne blush. Karen Gravano is disappointed. She had high hopes that the newbies could have a civil discussion. So Karen’s a “do as I say, not as I do” kind of person. That’s rich! Drita D’avanzo stays in Brittany’s corner like the little old guy who coached Rocky in the ring. Drita knows what it’s like to want to fight someone but be stopped by production assistants or, I don’t know, the police. Seriously, did you see this on TMZ? Girlfriend needs to take it down a notch.

Karen is peeved that Drita is encouraging Brittany. Brittany is peeved that Karen is being Switzerland in this altercation. The following day, Drita and Big Ang plan a big day of inspiration for Drita’s memoir. They are dining at a restaurant that was a mobsters’ strip club dream back in the day. Speaking of back in the day, don’t take a drink every time one of the women utters the phrase…alcohol poisoning doesn’t look fun. While Drita’s husband Lee isn’t keen on the idea of his wife penning a book, Ang believes he’ll come around and be proud of the finished product. Across town, Renee Graziano is thrilled to have son AJ and his girlfriend Andrea spending the night. Thankfully, Renee did a better decorating job the second time around, sans weed. Renee’s rules include AJ doing the laundry and no loud sex. AJ just needs snacks, Gatorade, and his mother not to make comments that make his girlfriend physically cringe.

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Big Ang with granddaughter

Big Ang recently received the devastating news that her cancer had returned, spreading to her lungs and brain. The Mob Wives star has experienced little relief by treating her stage 4 diagnosis with chemo and has turned to alternative medicines. However, Ang is remaining positive despite it all. 

Ang hasn’t lost hope or optimism. “You would never know that she is in the fight of her life,” Ang’s former co-star Alicia DiMichele reveals. 

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mob wives marissa

It was a Mob Wives double whammy last night. Not only were we treated to a curse-fueled episode, but Carla Facciolo and Karen Gravano hosted us during commercials courtesy of VH1’s “Fourteen Days of Love” (not Majewski, thank goodness!). Neither of these women is skilled at reading a cue card, that’s for sure. Where we left off last weekBig Ang has arranged a sit down for the ladies so they can civilly discuss their differences. Bwahahahaha! Ang, Karen, Carla, and Renee Graziano patiently await Drita D’avanzo’s arrival so everyone can get to the bottom of all the she-said, she-said that is plaguing Staten Island. To begin, Carla wants to confirm that at one point all of the ladies had actual friendships, but she wants to know why her former bestie has such a giant problem with her.

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mob wives renee this guy

After the drama proffered in last week’s episode of Mob Wives, I’m not quite sure what to do. Normally, I’d recap the season thus far, but OMG! Where do I start? Forgive me for forging in head first, but I’m at a loss. So let’s begin with what we witnessed last night, shall we? Drita D’avanzo is treating Big Ang to a swanky meal for being such a good friend. Such is the lives of Mob Wives! I’m just happy this is the last season, as I am physically and emotionally spent…for no other reason than I have no other shows on Tuesday! Just kidding, I’m enthralled regardless!

Drita contends that Ang will be a leading lady in her upcoming memoir. You can’t write a book about the lifestyle without having Ang front and center! Ang coyly dismisses her friends compliments (are they truly compliments to us normal folk? Is being a mob staple the lifestyle we covet?) and explains her heartache over not being able to hold a liquor license and re-open the Drunken Monkey. Her husband Neil needs to step up to the plate. She’s let him slide on helping pay bills for the last six years, and now it’s time for him to contribute. Changing the subject, Ang reminds Drita that she needs to make amends with Carla Facciolo. Ang admits that she told Carla that Drita shared Carla’s abusive relationship with her and that she announced the same to Carla, Karen Gravano, Renee Graziano, and crew. Drita doesn’t discount how this game of telephone came into play, and she’s hesitant to be put in a situation where she needs to address it.

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