Angela Raiola aka Big Ang was a fan favorite in the VH1 reality series Mob Wives, which followed the lives of women with connections to the mob. Unfortunately, Big Ang’s fame in reality TV did not last as long as the fans would have wished, as she died in February 2016 after a brief battle with cancer. Follow us as we reveal interesting facts about Big Ag’s life.
Big Ang (Angela Raiola) Wiki
Big Ang was born Angela Joyce Raiola in Brooklyn, New York on June 30, 1960. She was the niece of the Genoese criminal family of drug dealers and Capo Salvatore Lombardi alias Sally Dogs. Big Ang grew up among drug dealers and cartel members and was soon integrated into their lifestyle when she began running mafia hotels that were to become notorious.
She was the owner of The Drunken Monkey, a bar in Staten Island that operated from 2007 to 2015 when it was shut down because of its run-ins with the law.
Most of Angela’s bars were used as hubs for the drug trade between Brooklyn and New York City. In 2001, Ang found herself on the wrong side of the law after she was arrested with several packs of cocaine in her purse. Along with 15 others, she was convicted of a narcotics operation.
According to the New York Police (NYPD) that made the arrest, Ang had close ties to a drug dealer who was in prison. Information about her activities was obtained through an undercover agent who posed as a fellow drug dealer.
Although she raised her children as a single parent, Big Ang allowed her daughter Raquel to maintain close relations with her father Robert. Raquel had a close relationship with both her maternal and paternal grandparents. At their wedding, she served as a maid of honor for her Aunt Janine.
Ang was indicted on 6 counts. She pled guilty and was released on $100,000 bail. In 2003, she was sentenced to three years probation with the condition to stay on house arrest for four months. Ang was among the 9 out of 15 defendants who escaped from prison.
Long after all her problems with the law had been settled, Big Ang tried her hands at reality TV in 2011. She filmed as a regular cast member for the second season of the VH1 series Mob Wives, which premiered on New Year’s Day 2012.
Big Ang’s larger-than-life personality brought her many fans and eventually made her the show’s breakout star. She set out to score her spin-off show entitled Big Ang. After she played a season of 10 episodes, Big Ang was converted to another spin-off called Miami Monkey.
The name of the spin-off was taken from the Miami branch of Ang’s Staten Island Bar in Miami. It had moved to Miami to have the show filmed, but after the authorities closed its bar due to its previous felony charge, Miami Monkey was discontinued in July 2014.
Angela’s fame brought her further appearances, including an appearance in Scary Movie 5 (2013) as Real Housewife and in Staten Island Summer (2015). She has appeared as a guest on television shows such as The Wendy Williams Show, Bethenny, The Real, and The Dr. Oz Show. The latter became her last television appearance before her death.
Big Ang also appeared on other reality TV shows such as Celebrity Wife Swap, Couples Therapy, and David Tutera’s CELEBrations.
Before Surgery, Death
Ang began to feel unbearable pain in his throat in March 2015 and immediately went to see a doctor. She was diagnosed with a sore throat and was put on antibiotics that barely or never relieved the pain.
About two months later, Ang visited a throat specialist who diagnosed her with throat cancer after finding a lemon-sized tumor in her lung.
Immediate surgery was performed and the entire tumor removed, but it was too late for Angela because cancer had spread to other parts of her body, including the lungs and brain.
She underwent chemotherapy, which did little to contain the disease. Angela gave up the ghost on February 18, 2016, surrounded by her family.
Before her death, Angie warned the public about the dangers of smoking, as her death from cancer was a consequence of 40 years of heavy smoking – Ang would smoke at least one pack of cigarettes a day.
“If you smoke, quit now, and if you’ve never smoked before, don’t start,” warned the husky-voiced star.
After her death, her mafia wives, her family, including her sister Janine Detore, who appeared in Mob Wives, and her children were represented on social media to send tributes.
Husband – Neil Murphy
Big Ang married a certain Neil Murphy in 2009 and they remained married until their death. Although the couple had separated, Neil did well to stand by his wife throughout her sick days.
After Angela passed away, Niel used his social media accounts to publish many sweet memories of himself and Ang.
Big Ang Daughter
Big Ang left two children, including daughter Raquel Donofrio and son Anthony Donofrio aka AJ. She had them both out of wedlock. Their daughter Raquel was born as the first child, her birthday was January 13, 1985.
Despite raising her kids as a single parent, Big Ang did allow her daughter Raquel to keep close ties with her father named Robert. Raquel had a close relationship with both her maternal and paternal grandparents. She served as her auntie Janine’s maid of honor at her wedding.
Unlike her mom, Raquel didn’t follow in the gang life. She has two master’s degrees and is married with kids. Big Ang’s son is also married. On August 28th, 2015, he tied the knot in a lavish ceremony to his fiancée Gabriella Celestino. Big Ang’s children made her a grandmother to 6 kids.
She was 55 years old. RIP Big Ang.