Happy Birthday, Big Ang! You’ve Had Quite A Year

It’s hard to believe, but just a year and a half ago, most of us had never heard of Angela “Big Ang” Raiola. The woman took Mob Wives by storm, making so much of an impression that she earned herself a spin-off and a place in all of our hearts, and in honor of her birthday today (the big 5-3!), we’d like to salute her ten greatest accomplishments of the year. In the course of twelve months, she got the RuPaul’s Drag Race treatment, had dozens of fans dress like her for Halloween, got her nose pierced, and lead relief efforts after Hurricane Sandy. Hopefully she’ll take today to relax at the Drunken Monkey with some of her besties and have a drink or ten. In the meantime, take a look at all the ways Ang has entertained us this year.
[Photo: Getty Images]

10. We Learned Her Porn Name

You know the thing where you take your first pet’s name and the street you grew up on to find out your porn star name? When Big Ang took our “9 Things You Never Knew About Me” questionnaire, it was determined that her porn name wins it all.

9. She Showed Her Love And Passion For Staten Island

Hurricane Sandy hit Staten Island harder than a fight between Ramona and Drita. In the aftermath, all of the mob wives pitched in to help, but none more so than Ang, who spearheaded fundraisers, did some actual heavy lifting, and rallied the spirits of those around her.

8. She Was A Drag, Part I

You know you’ve hit the big time when drag queens start to worship you, and Big Ang, in all her Big Ang-ness, is the perfect drag inspiration. In this clip at the New Now Next Awards, RuPaul’s Drag Race star Detox gives her major drag props.

7. She Was A Drag, Part II

You also know you’re hot when people start dressing as you for Halloween, and a Big Ang costume was one of the more popular choices last year. Our personal favorite outfit belonged to Ang’s brother, Stephen. It wasn’t the prettiest one, but it was one of the funniest. See all of our favorites here.
[Photo: @stephenraiola]

6. Mirror, Mirror, On My Shirt, Who Is The Blingiest of Then All?

Reunions are a time for our casts to get decked out, show off a new pair of red bottoms or an engagement ring or some new extensions…and Ang certainly got into that spirit during the Mob Wives season three reunion. So much so that you voted her the cast member with the best bling.
[Photo: Bryan Bedder]

5. She Became A Movie Star

Who was that new ingenue you spotted in Scary Movie 5? Ang, ever the starlet, made her acting debut in the film alongside stars like Lindsay Lohan, Snoop Dogg, and Charlie Sheen.
[Photo: ComingSoon.net]

4. She Got Her Own TV Show

It’s pretty much unheard of that a reality star gets their own spin-off greenlit almost instantly after debuting as part of an ensemble, but owing to Ang’s love of wiseguys, diamonds, her rocky relationship with hubby Neil, and her scene-stealing Pomeranian, Louie, she made it happen.

3. She Got A Perm. And Her Nose Pierced.

Whoever said youth is wasted on the young was dead wrong. Ang is living her life more fully than anyone we know, as evidenced by her love for a good party and taking risks with everything — her relationships, her professional life, and her look. She’s not afraid to change it up, this one. First a perm, then a nose-piercing? Name me another 53-year-old who dares to be so bold.
[Photos: Big Ang/Instagram]

2. She Got Re-Engaged To Neil And Broke The News To Jimmy Fallon

Ang loves to talk smack — in the most loving and funny way possible — about her husband Neil. The couple has been on-again and off-again for a few years, but last summer, Ang showed up on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon to break Jimmy’s heart just a little by admitting she and Neil had re-committed themselves to one another. Here’s hoping that Jimmy will show up to help them Slow Jam their vow renewal.

1. She Upstaged A Bunch of Supermodels Because Of Course She Did. She’s BIG ANG.
No one fills out a bikini like Big Ang. No one. Watch her show a bunch of world-class supermodels how it’s done. Here’s to many more years of Ang YOLO-ing it up and showing the rest of us how to make every second count. And to see how Ang celebrated her big day, check out some photos from her birthday party below.

  • Big Ang’s Birthday Bash

  • Big Ang’s Birthday Bash

  • Big Ang’s Birthday Bash

  • Big Ang’s Birthday Bash

  • Big Ang’s Birthday Bash

  • Big Ang’s Birthday Bash