|Donna, Angela and Janine-The three Raiola sisters!|
On Mob Wives, Angela is the voice of reason. She doesn't like the fights and she doesn't like the drama. She also tries to keep the peace between the other women and just wants everyone to get along.
On her own show, the first season showed more of just her own life including time spent with her family and friends, including Janine, Dom, Little Jen and Linda. If you haven't already seen it, get ready for some laughs. Angela's outlook on life is to have fun while you're on this earth. But, she's also honest and upfront enough to share some of the hardships that she has been through as well. The second new season of "Big Ang" will air on VH1 this September. You can also download the first season on iTunes.
Most people would assume (incorrectly) on how Big Ang got her nickname. It's not what you think. When Angela was younger, she had a friend-another girl named Angela. Well, they called this Angela "Big Ang" because she was taller than her friend, who was then known as "Little Ang.
A lot of people only have seen Big Ang as she looks today, but check out these two blasts from the past photos. One of Angela and her brother Stephen and one of Angela and her mom:
Family is important to Angela. She's a sister to six, a wife to Neil and mom to two kids (and Little Louie!), and a friend to countless others. She's also absolutely in love with her grandson, Baby Sal. She must be one cool grandma because Janine's son, Ronnie calls her Grandma, too! :)
|Louis, Donna, Ronald, Angela, Janine and Stephen|
The Raiola Siblings!
|Angela and hubby Neil|
Her first bar, Drunken Monkey, located at 1205 Forest Avenue in Staten Island has been seen on both of her shows and is a modest, welcoming local bar. Janine's husband remodeled it not too long ago and did a beautiful job.
And now, more recently, she has opened the Miami Monkey,on the second floor of the Netherland Building at 1330 Ocean Drive in Miami Beach.
I have met Angela twice. Once was for the premiere party for Season 3 of Mob Wives at the Drunken Monkey:
And the other time was when I went to see Janine play a role in the play, Italian Bred. Here's Janine, me, Angela and my husband at the FANTASTIC restaurant, Ignazio's in Brooklyn, New York.
I found her to be down to earth, and very nice. What really struck me was how soft spoken she is in person. She's really laid back and approachable.
Angela is very receptive of all her fans. She never refuses a photo when someone requests one. I saw people coming up to her at the theater before the play started. Now, mind you, she was just there to see her sister in the play, but she still took the time to pose for photos with people. She also has a very large following on Twitter. Follow her @biggangvh1. Also, follow Neil @MrBigAngvh1.
Angela lives life on her own terms and not too many people are brave enough to do that.
|Courtesy Janine's personal collection|
She even seems surprised herself sometimes about how her life has changed very quickly from being a bartender to accumulating legions of fans. However, that hasn't changed her. Ask anyone from her family or her friends, and they will tell you that Angela has remained the same -true to herself, loyal to her friends and family and not afraid of living life to the fullest. Big personality, big sense of humor, big heart. Big Ang, indeed.
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