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Vicki LaMotta, 75; marriage to boxer portrayed in film

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- The Bronx-born legendary beauty Vicki LaMotta, whose marriage to boxer Jake LaMotta was portrayed in the film "Raging Bull," died Jan. 25. She was 75.

Mrs. LaMotta died at Boca Raton Community Hospital, about six months after having open heart surgery, said her son, Harrison Foster.

In the movie, Robert DeNiro plays the boxer who is obsessed with his young wife, played by Cathy Moriarty, and drives her away. Her son said that Jake LaMotta had such trouble adjusting to life outside the ring when he retired in Miami Beach that Mrs. LaMotta, then 26, felt compelled to move out.

"It took courage to leave Jake at such a young age with three children," Foster said.

Mrs. LaMotta posed nude for Playboy in November 1981, when she was 51. At the time, she told the St. Louis Post Dispatch that she posed nude to show that life doesn't end at 30.

"I'm getting reaction from women that is so favorable it's just fantastic," she said.

She later lent her name to a cosmetics line, made commercials, and appeared on television and at fight arenas. Mrs. LaMotta also divorced her second husband, Tony Foster.

Mrs. LaMotta returned to South Florida in 1992.

Beverly "Vicki" Thailer was born in the Bronx and met LaMotta at a community pool. She married as a teenager.

In addition to Foster and her son, she leaves a daughter, Christi; two sisters, Pat Follini and Phyllis Genovese; two brothers, Donald Thailer and Joe Francis; and one granddaughter. Two sons, Jake LaMotta Jr. and Joe LaMotta, predeceased her.

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