VH1, the American television network that’s been airing reality show Mob Wives since 2011, has recently paid tribute to Angela “Big Ang” Raiola following the reality star’s death on Thursday due to lung and brain cancer. Big Ang was 55 years-old.
In their touching tribute, VH1 described Big Ang as an “incredibly strong, one-of-a-kind woman.” Big Ang, whose infectious humor, big heart, and imposing height became staples for many of the show’s most memorable and endearing moments, was undoubtedly one of the network’s brightest and most vibrant stars.
Hours after Angela’s death, VH1 sent People an official statement expressing their deep sorrow for her devastating loss.
“We are all heartbroken about the passing of our ‘Big Ang.’ Angela Raiola was an incredibly strong, one-of-a-kind woman who taught us all to enjoy life to the fullest. We send our deepest sympathies to Angela’s family and ask that her fans keep them in their thoughts as well.”
Angela “Big Ang” Raiola had been battling cancer for some time now. Since being diagnosed with throat cancer in March last year, Big Ang underwent multiple surgeries to have it removed, only to find out later in the year that the cancer had spread to her brain and lungs. In December 2015, Big Ang was diagnosed with stage 4 brain and lung cancer.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, Angela Raiola’s illness took a turn for the worst. Big Ang was sent to a Manhattan hospital where her friends and family attended her.
Shortly after her death, Mob Wives creator and Raiola’s close friend, Jennifer Graziano, released a statement to Hollywood Life to declare that Big Ang has passed on peacefully while surrounded by her loved ones.
“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.”
Many of Big Ang’s friends and co-stars on Mob Wives took to social media to honor the reality star’s life and express their grief over the loss of their friend.
“My beautiful friend is with the Angels now,” Carla Facciolo said via Instagram. “Angela u will be missed more than anyone I [know]!” She captioned the photo with, “U were so loved by so many ppl.. May u rest in peace my friend. I love you & I will miss you #BigAng.”
Vinnie Medugno, a publicist who once made an appearance on Mob Wives, also took to Instagram to send Big Ang a short but hearfelt parting message. The photo shows Raiola giving him a kiss on the cheek. “I love you… There are no other words neeed,” captioned Medugno.
Mob Wives co-star Marissa Jade reminisced one of the many fun moments she shared with Big Ang by tweeting a photo of herself, Big Ang, and two other co-stars having a party at the beach.
Looking back at those moments.. Rip Angela ????????????????❤️ Cherish your life and your loved ones. To happier times ???? pic.twitter.com/D0pGnwzhTj
— Marissa Jade (@MsMarissaJade) February 19, 2016
Dr. Oz, who gave Big Ang’s last interview which aired on Monday, took to Instagram to share a photo taken during their emotional conversation.
Shown below are more tributes to Big Ang shared via social media.
— Andy Cohen (@Andy) February 18, 2016
— Jenelle Evans (@PBandJenelley_1) February 18, 2016
Today is a very sad day ! Big Ang was always big in our hearts way before the world knew her ! She will be greatly missed ! #legendsneverdie
— Nicole Napolitano (@RHONJTwins) February 18, 2016
Details on funeral arrangements for Angela Raiola are still pending.
Please share your favorite “Big Ang” moments below.
[Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images]