LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The mother of retired boxing champion Micky Ward, whose story was turned into the Hollywood movie "The Fighter," died on Wednesday at the age of 79, her son said.
Alice Ward was played in the 2010 movie by actress Melissa Leo, who won a best supporting actress Oscar for her performance as the feisty mother of nine children.
Dicky Eklund, the older half brother of Micky Ward, told the Massachusetts news website www.lowellsun.com that Ward died at a Boston hospital after doctors took her off life support.
"We lost the leader of our family," Eklund told the Lowell Sun. "She was a great woman, a strong woman. She taught us all what it means to be strong because she never gave up on any of us."
Ward had gone into cardiac arrest in January.
Melissa Leo also won a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award for her portrayal of Ward in "The Fighter", which also brought an Oscar for Christian Bale in his role as Eklund.
Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Jerry Norton