NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Thursday, February 18, 2016, 4:23 PM
Big Ang was strong to the finish.
Not even a fateful battle with throat and brain cancer could stop “Mob Wives” star Angela “Big Ang” Raiola from taping her show’s sixth and final season reunion episodes, which are scheduled to air March 16 and 23.
“Big Ang was only able to film one scene because she was so sick,” said a source close to the show, which shot its series finale in a Queens warehouse shortly before Valentine’s Day. The 55-year old Staten Island celebrity died five days later.
“She insisted on coming in,” we’re told. “She wasn’t going to listen to doctor’s orders. She did a scene with Karen, Renee and Drita — just the original cast. She dragged herself off her deathbed to do this reunion.”
While most cast members taped for 10 to 12 hours, we’re told Big Ang stayed for just two hours.
“It was all she could do,” we’re told.
Our insider says that as Big Ang’s worsening health caused her to further embrace her role as the “Mob Wives” peacemaker.
“She said this show would be her ‘legacy,’” says our insider. We’re told that cast members have agreed “To show up and shut up to support Ang” when they pay their respects at Brooklyn’s Scarpaci Funeral Home this weekend.
But not even Big Ang could keep the show’s most mercurial star, Drita D’avanzo, from attacking castmate Karen Gravano at the outset of the reunion special. And we’re told that VH1 producers facilitated that attempted whacking by sequestering cast members in a Queens hotel and fanning the flames before filming even started.
“They literally kept them all in this hotel room on lockdown, practically force-feeding them video of the other girls talking stuff about each other to get them all seething,” we’re told.
All producers had to do was turn on the cameras once the volatile D’avanzo arrived at the warehouse.
“Drita came rushing into this warehouse in a black ninja kind-of-bodysuit thing with her fists raised and charged Karen (Gravano)!” according to one production insider. Security staff stopped D’avanzo “inches” from striking her foe. She eventually settled down.
Sexy young newcomers Brittany Fogarty and Marissa Jade also addressed their season-long feud in the warehouse finale, where Jade confessed that it was just business.
Staten Island resident Big Ang relaxes at home with her dog, Lou.
Enlarge Jennifer Brown/for New York Daily News
Angela “Big Ang” Raiola, who died early Thursday morning, will likely be remembered during the “Mob Wives” finale.
“Marissa said — and you’ll probably never see this on air — ‘it’s my job to talk about you,’” according to our source. “I get paid to talk about you!”
We’re told that Fogarty explained to Jade that producers had tried to bait her too, but she rose above it.
“When they asked me to talk about you I didn’t do it,” Brittany replied.
Just the way Big Ang would’ve wanted it.