Angela Raiola aka Big Ang was an American reality television personality who was best known for appearing in the VH1 series ‘Mob Wives.’ Her appearance in the reality show ‘Big Ang’ and its spinoff ‘Miami Monkey’ also garnered her considerable fame. Often referred to as a “mob moll”, Raiola was a woman who dated criminals and lived an opulent lifestyle. She was once herself convicted for her role in a narcotics deal and spent some time in jail. Owing to her links with gangsters and the mystery surrounding her persona, Raiola was one of the most talked about reality TV stars during her heyday. She had an enigmatic personality and was always the center of attention in parties, events, and shows. Although she was wealthy and lived a lavish lifestyle, she went through several ups and downs in her personal life. Towards the end of her life, she became ill with cancer and struggled with the disease for several months. Despite undergoing grueling treatments, she eventually succumbed to the illness in 2016.
Angela Raiola became a part of the cast of the reality television show ‘Mob Wives’ in 2011. The show premiered in early 2012. It became a hit and spawned a spinoff titled ‘Big Ang,’ which starred Raiola, her husband, children, and a few other members of her family. After this, she went on to appear in ‘Miami Monkey’, another spinoff to ‘Mob Wives’ that premiered in September 2013.
Raiola then guest-starred in the shows ‘Bethenny’ and ‘The Real’ in the mid-2010s. In 2015, she had a minor role in the flick ‘Staten Island Summer’. That year, she also appeared in an episode of ‘Celebrity Wife Swap’ and ‘David Tutera's CELEBrations’. Raiola also joined the main cast of the reality show ‘Couples Therapy’ the same year. Her last television appearance was on ‘The Dr. Oz Show’ in 2016.
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In May 2001, Angela Raiola was one of the fifteen defendants who were convicted for their involvement in a narcotics operation that distributed powdered cocaine, marijuana and crack cocaine in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Raiola had been an associate of the ring’s leader and sold drugs from the bars where she worked. At the time of her arrest, her handbag was found with 14 plastic bags containing cocaine inside. In the year 2003, Raiola, who was free on a $100,000 bond, pleaded guilty to the indictment’s top count. In October that year, she was sentenced to probation of three years and also ordered to spend four months under home confinement. In July 2004, a federal judge modified her probation conditions and ordered her to enroll in “an outpatient and/or inpatient drug treatment or detoxification program.”
Family & Personal Life
Angela Raiola was born on June 30, 1960 in Brooklyn, New York, USA. She grew up with four brothers and two sisters. Her uncle, Salvatore "Sally Dogs" Lombardi, was the captain/ leader of the Genovese crime family.
Angela Raiola had two kids, Raquel and Anthony Donofrio. In 2009, she married Neil Murphy. In 2007, Raiola and her cousin opened a bar named The Drunken Monkey. However, it was shut down in 2015 due to her past criminal records.
Illness & Death
Raiola started experiencing pain in her throat in 2015 and the doctors prescribed her some antibiotics. When the pain did not subside, she went to an ENT specialist and was eventually diagnosed with a tumor that required immediate surgery. Raiola was believed to be cancer-free after successive surgeries and chemotherapy. However, a throat scan in December 2015 revealed that her cancer had not only returned but had also spread to her lungs and brain. In early 2016, she started immunotherapy after the tumors no longer responded to chemotherapy. After battling cancer for several months since the initial diagnosis, Raiola eventually died on February 18, 2016 in New York. She was 55 at that time.