Raging Bull Jake LaMotta dies at 95

TAMPA OUT CITRUS COUNTY OUT PORT CHARLOTTE OUT BROOKSVILLE HERNANDO TODAY OUT MANDATORY CREDIT

TAMPA OUT CITRUS COUNTY OUT PORT CHARLOTTE OUT BROOKSVILLE HERNANDO TODAY OUT MANDATORY CREDIT

Boxing legend Jake LaMotta has died at the age of 95 following complications from pneumonia, his wife Denise has confirmed. The title for Scorsese's film is based on his nickname, which he earned for his rough style in the ring as a middleweight fighter. In 1980, he became the inspiration for Robert De Niro's Oscar-winning performance in Martin Scorsese's epic Raging Bull. Actor Robert De Niro won an Academy Award for it.

"When he was in the ring, it was like he was in a cage fighting for his life", Ray Arcel, one of boxing's most renowned trainers, said of LaMotta, The New York Times reports. The Boxing Hall of Fame added a six-fight series with Sugar Ray Robinson defined his career. "He started fighting when he was eight years old, fighting for pennies and nickels and dimes the old Italian men in the neighborhood would give to the victor". Oldest son, Jake LaMotta Jr., died of liver cancer in February, and Joseph LaMotta died in a plane crash in September off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. His nephew, John LaMotta - himself a former boxer - played "Duke", the owner of Duke's bar in Frasier.

From left to right, Robert DeNiro, Cathy Moriarty, LaMotta and Martin Scorsese pose for photographers at a 25th anniversary screening of Raging Bull, on January 27, 2005. In 1990, it was named to the Library of Congress' National Film Registry, which honors works that are considered "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

LaMotta was born in the Bronx in the early '20s to Italian immigrant parents. In his autobiography LaMotta said he had trouble making the Fox fight look convincing.

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LaMotta was 26 when he beat Cerdan for the middleweight title in June 1949 with a 10th-round stoppage.

LaMotta was married six times, most famously to Beverly "Vikki" Thailer. They were set for a rematch later in the year, but the Frenchman was killed in a plane crash.

Christi posted several pictures of herself with Jake over the years as family members offered their condolences for her loss. He is survived by his four daughters. Vikki later passed away in 2005 at age 75.

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