The reality TV community lost another noteworthy personality.
Angela “Big Ang” Raiola died early Thursday morning after a lengthy battle with
cancer, ET has confirmed. She was 55.
Her friend Vinnie Medugno confirmed the news via Raiola’s official
Twitter handle, noting, the Mob Wives star “was called home.” Though she was
estranged from her husband, Neil Murphy, at the time, the sanitation worker
posted a touching message on Twitter shortly after the news of her death.
On Tuesday, Raiola told Dr. Oz that she had separated from
her husband amid her ongoing cancer battle. “I felt like he never stepped up to
the plate, so I was done with it,” she revealed. “Now, it’s too late. I would
rather be by myself. I would rather be alone.”
Raiola, however, was not alone when she passed. Instead, she
was surrounded by friends and family. Meanwhile, several of Raiola’s co-stars
and celebrities have expressed their condolences online.
“We will always love you .. Forever and ever Angela,” Renee
Graziano, a friend and co-star, wrote on Instagram. “You are part of our
family. #rip #withtheangels #inabetter place.”
Co-star Marissa Jade tells ET, "I am extremely saddened by the news of Angela. My heart aches for her and her family. I understand what they are going through and how they feel because I have dealt with the same heartache of losing a loved one. She is no longer suffering. She was loved by many and will never be forgotten. Rest in peace, beautiful Angel."
Carla Facciolo tells ET that Big Ang was set on returning to the VH1 reality show, despite her condition.
"[She] was saying 'I don't care if I'm sick!'" Facciolo tells ET of her final visit to see Raiola last Thursday. "I was so happy. She was so happy all the girls were there with her. She was in great spirits... I'll miss so much about her, but mostly her free spirit."
Jersey Shore alum Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi Instagrammed a
photo with Raiola, writing, “Such a beautiful soul taking so quickly …we all
love you big Ang. You’re contagious personality will live on forever my love !
Prayers for her family.”
Mob Wives creator Jennifer Graziano previously confirmed the loss to ET, saying, “I am saddened to say that at 3:01 a.m. (ET) Ang lost her battle with cancer. She passed away peacefully surrounded by friends and family. My heart is broken for her whole family -- especially her children and grandchildren and I will never forget her. Her presence brought sheer happiness to anyone that was around her and I am honored to have called her a friend. Please respect her family’s privacy at this time as they mourn the loss of such an amazing woman.”
Raiola found a lemon-sized tumor in her throat in March
2015, and had it removed. In June she underwent the same procedure on the right
side of her throat, but was later diagnosed with stage 4 brain and lung cancer.