Jake LaMotta, the legendary Italian-American boxer portrayed by Robert De Niro in Raging Bull, has died at the age of 95.
The former World Middleweight Champion and stand-up comedian passed away in a nursing home due to complications from pneumonia, his wife Denise has confirmed.
She told TMZ: "I just want people to know, he was a great, sweet, sensitive, strong, compelling man with a great sense of humour, with eyes that danced."
His fighting career spanned the forties and fifties, and is best remembered for his fierce rivalry with Sugar Ray Robinson. Known for his tough jaw and ability to unleash vicious beatings in the ring, he once boasted that "No son-of-a-bitch ever knocked me off my feet". LaMotta won 83 professional bouts, 30 by KO.
Post-boxing, LaMotta pursued stand-up comedy – and his unconventional career was eventually brought to the big screen through Martin Scorcese's 1980 film Raging Bull. The director based the script on LaMotta's 1970 memoir, and Robert De Niro won an Academy Award for his performance as the troubled boxer.
Watch a portion of his most famous fight with Sugar Ray Robinson, nicknamed the 'Saint Valentine's Day Massacre', below: