Angela “Big Ang” Raiola may be gone, but she is certainly not forgotten, especially by Mob Wives costar Drita D’Avanzo. The reality personality sat down with Us Weekly recently to discuss her friendship with the late TV star.
“I’m usually the one that makes all my friends laugh, but Ang was the one that used to make me laugh,” D’Avanzo, who has starred on the VH1 series since season 1, tells Us. “She would just bring light to a terrible situation, in my eyes. And it wasn’t just for TV, it wasn’t to take Instagram pictures. We just had a great friendship. … She was my only true friend on Mob Wives.”
Raiola died on February 18 at age 55 after battling stage IV lung and brain cancer.
But something that Big Ang said before she got sick has stayed with D’Avanzo. The makeup artist recalled a conversation she had with Raiola about a year ago, saying that Big Ang lamented that her mother — who is buried in the same cemetery in which the late reality star now rests — died so young.
“‘You know, Drita,’ she goes … ‘she was only 55 years old! That’s me dying next year! Her life was cut short!’ And that was 12 months ago. And what happened in that 12 months no one can understand,” D’Avanzo tells Us, fighting back tears.
Doctors first diagnosed Big Ang with throat cancer last March. After two surgeries, she thought she was in remission. But a month later, she received the stage IV diagnosis.
Big Ang was laid to rest in Brooklyn on February 22.
Watch the video above to to see why D’Avanzo says the larger-than-life TV personality was famous before Mob Wives, and going on without her dear friend.
Mob Wives airs on VH1 Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST.
Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!