Early Thursday morning beloved reality TV star Angela “Big Ang” Raiola passed away after a short battle with lung cancer, which spread to her brain and lungs. The 55-year-old was the niece of Salvatore "Sally Dogs" Lombardi, the alleged captain of the Genovese crime family.
As the breakout star on VH1’s Mob Wives, she earned the hearts of fans with her boisterous personality and resolve to be the peacemaker in the conflicts involving her family and friends. She was able to turn that into a self-titled spinoff that followed her life as the owner of Big Ang’s Secrets beauty parlor and the Drunken Monkey Bar and Grill, as well as the spinoff Miami Monkey that chronicled the South Florida outpost of her northeastern bar.
While we mourn the loss of an irreplaceable personality, it’s time to take a look at a few of the moments that made the world fall in love with her in the first place.