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(Reuters) - Angela Raiola, who was known as the character "Big Ang" on the "Mob Wives" reality television show, died early Thursday after a battle with cancer, according to a friend's post on Raiola's Twitter feed.
She was 55 years old and died at a hospital in New York City, media reports said.
Raiola died peacefully at about 3 a.m., surrounded by family and friends, her friend Vinnie Medugno said in the Twitter post. She had suffered from throat cancer, media reports said. Some reports said she also had lung and brain cancer.
Raiola was a single mother of two who was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, according to the website of cable TV network VH1, which aired "Mob Wives."
"The VH1 family lost one of its brightest and most beloved stars," the network said in a statement.
VH1 said staffers were devastated and taking comfort in one of their favorite Raiola quotes: "'I'm not here for a long time, I'm here for a good time!' We lost her here on earth but heaven just got a little more fun."
Her uncle, Salvatore "Sally Dogs" Lombardi, was a member of the Genovese crime family, according to media reports.
Reporting by Suzannah Gonzales; Editing by Bernadette Baum