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Theresa Saldana, 'Commish' And 'Raging Bull' Star, Dead At 61

She survived a stalker's knife attack in 1982.
Theresa Saldana, pictured in 1994 at the Golden Globe Awards, also became known for victim advocacy work after she was a
Theresa Saldana, pictured in 1994 at the Golden Globe Awards, also became known for victim advocacy work after she was attacked by a stalker in 1982.

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Theresa Saldana, who starred on "The Commish" and in "Raging Bull" alongside Joe Pesci, died Monday in Los Angeles. She had been hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai but no cause of death has been given. She was 61.

Saldana was best known for having survived a knifing attack by a stalker in 1982. She later went on to do victim advocacy work after her near-death attack. She founded the Victims for Victims organization that fought for anti-stalking laws, then played herself in the 1984 TV movie "Victims for Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story." Her death was first reported by TMZ.

Saldana starred in multiple films in the '70s but gained traction when she starred in Robert Zemeckis' 1978 film "I Wanna Hold your Hand." She then appeared in "Raging Bull" as the wife of Joey LaMotta, played by Joe Pesci.

Saldana also appeared in TV shows including "T.J. Hooker," "Cagney & Lacey" and "Simon & Simon." However, her first major role was as Rebecca Scali in the 1991 TV show "The Commish," alongside Michael Chiklis.

Chiklis, who played her husband on the show, tweeted, "Painful to hear the news of Theresa's passing. My family and I extend our love, condolences & support to her family in their time of grieving."

She continued her work on TV with guest spots on "Law & Order," "Diagnosis Murder," "Martial Law," "All My Children" and "The Bernie Mac Show."

She is survived by her husband, Phil Peters, and a daughter.

Here's Saldana in the 1984 movie about her life, "Victims for Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story":

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