Jake LaMotta, Legendary Boxer and Inspiration for 'Raging Bull,' Dies at 95, Robert De Niro Pays Tribute

Robert De Niro and Jake LaMotta
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The actor portrayed the late boxer in Martin Scorsese's iconic film.

Jake LaMotta, a former middleweight champion boxer, died at age 95.

The sports legend's wife, Denise Baker, told ABC News that LaMotta died due to complications from pneumonia and was in a nursing home in Miami, Florida. 

LaMotta had 30 knockouts in his boxing career that spanned from 1941 to 1954, and earned the nickname "Bronx Bull."

In 1980, Martin Scorsese used LaMotta's 1970 memoir as the inspiration for his black-and-white film, Raging Bull, which starred Robert De Niro as the famed pugilist.The role earned De Niro an Oscar for Best Actor.

After news broke of LaMotta's death, the 74-year-old actor told ET in statement: "Rest in Peace, Champ."

"He was a great man, sensitive, and had eyes that danced right up to the end. I love him; God rest his soul," LaMotta's wife told ABC News. "And he never went down!"