Theresa Saldana Dies: Raging Bull, The Commish Actress Was 61

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Theresa Saldana, the actress best known for her work on the acclaimed televisions series The Commish and the iconic Martin Scorsese film Raging Bull, has passed away at the age of 61.

Theresa Saldana

Saldana had been hospitalized due to an unknown illness since last week.

She reportedly passed away surrounded by family and friends this morning.

Though she racked up dozens of film and television credits, Saldana's most lasting contribution might be her work as a victims' advocate following a highly-publicized attack that nearly took her life at the height of her fame.

In 1982, Saldana was attacked and stabbed by a fan named Arthur Richard Jackson, who became obsessed after seeing Saldana's performances in Raging Bull and Defiance.

She was stabbed ten times. 

The attack was so aggressive that Jackson's blade was bent.

Saldana's life was saved by a delivery man who heard her screams from a nearby apartment and intervened.

Saldana played herself in a TV movie based on the incident, and she went on to found the organization Victims for Victims.

Along with other survivors, she successfully lobbied to push through two pieces of legislation protecting potential stalking victims.

Law makers have been quoted as saying that the 1990 anti-stalking law and the 1994 Driver's Privacy protection Act may have never found the support they needed were it not for Saldana's involvement.

Saldana appeared on an astonishing 37 television shows over the course of her career, including such long-running favorites as Law & Order and MacGyver.

She retired from acting in 2004, but remained an active victims' advocate until her death.

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