Actress Cathy Moriarty is glad she was cast as the wife of boxer JAKE LAMOTTA in Raging Bull - because she became lifelong friends with the real VIKKI LAMOTTA after filming wrapped.
Moriarty landed her first movie role in Martin Scorsese's 1980 boxing epic, but the director insisted she was banned from speaking to the real-life boxer's wife to avoid influencing her portrayal.
After the shoot ended, the actress was so desperate to find out if she had played the part correctly, she visited Vikki LaMotta in Florida - and they became best pals until LaMotta's death five years ago (05).
Moriarty tells BlackBookMag.com, "We had sent each other letters back and forth, but (the Raging Bull producers) didn't want us speaking because the movie was shot through Jake's eyes and not hers. Since the movie wasn't really about her, maybe they felt that I wasn't ready to handle meeting her.
"If she came to the set, they made sure I wasn't there. They definitely did not want me speaking with her or meeting her. Once the movie was over, I flew down to Florida and stayed with Vikki for a couple of days. We stayed great friends until she passed away a week or two before the twenty-fifth anniversary of Raging Bull. She did say to me, 'I'm very proud. You did a good job. I liked me.'"