Big Ang held on to her lovable personality until her last breath, her Mob Wives co-stars Karen Gravano and Carla Facciolo say. E! Online reports that Gravano and Facciolo were with Ang, real name Angela Raiola, while she was on her deathbed.
“Even yesterday, when we were at the hospital, she was basically taking her last breath, she was beautiful. Her eyelashes. And she had lip gloss on. Her head was shaved, but it fit her,” Gravano said in an interview with E! News. “She was gonna go out with grace and she did,”
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Carla Facciolo agreed, adding that Ang was delighted about her eyelashes.
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“When we first walked in the room, we didn’t know her head was gonna be shaved. So when we first seen her, we were like, ‘Ang, your eyelashes are so long,’ she was like, ‘I know, right?,'” Facciolo added. “She was just happy about that.”
Although Ang built up a loyal fanbase from her time on Mob Wives and its two spin off series, Gravano and Facciolo insist that she wouldn’t want fans or family to mourn her death.
“She wants us to celebrate her life,” Gravano said. “Coming here last night after leaving the hospital, I was sad, but when I woke up this morning and seen how many people…I was like how many people did she actually take pictures with? There were so many people. And such an outpouring of love.
“She was so happy, and I think in her death, she doesn’t want us to mourn. She wants us to celebrate her.”
Facciolo also added that Big Ang left a legacy filled with love.
“There’s millions of pictures of people with Ang,” she said. “And I’ve known because we’ve been out with her before and that woman took 100 pictures a night. Before they even came to us.”
As Us Weekly previously reported, Big Ang had previously spoken out about how she felt that her husband, Neil Murphy, had not stepped up to the plate and supported her as she battled stage four brain and lung cancer.
But Karen Gravano and Carla Facciolo say that Neil Murphy was with Big Ang until the end.
“Neil was there, he was there with his family. He was like any man would be losing a wife. He was upset, and he was strong, and he was just holding on,” Karen said during the E! News interview.
“He’s always been by her side throughout this whole ordeal, since she found out she had cancer. I feel like Neil has always been strong for her and always been there for her,” Carla Facciolo added.
Angela “Big Ang” Raiola died during the early hours of Thursday, February 18, after a relatively short battle with late stage cancer. The news was confirmed by a message on her Twitter page and then by a statement from her rep, Jennifer Graziano, E! Online reports.
“I am saddened to say that At 3:01 am Ang lost her battle with cancer. She passed 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.”
New York’s Pix 11 reports that Ang was remembered as being incredibly kind in her Staten Island neighborhood.
“She always donated a lot of toys and gifts to the kids for the holidays,” a local resident recalled. “She made special events for them. She was a good person all-around.”
[Photo by Steve Mack/Getty Images]