‘Raging Bull,’ ‘Commish’ Actress Theresa Saldana Dead at 61

Veteran actress Theresa Saldana, best known for her work in Raging Bull and TV’s The Commish, has died after battling an undisclosed illness, says reports. She was 61.

Saldana was also made famous by surviving a brutal knife attack by a disturbed fan in 1982. She was stabbed 10 times outside her L.A. apartment by a man who had tried to contact her several times.

Her attack was one of the first to shine a light on celebrity stalking, and Saldana founded the advocacy group Victims for Victims, which fought for anti-stalking laws. She also played herself in the 1984 TV movie, Victims for Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story.

Saldana told the L.A. Times in 1984, “I hope it stands as an example, not just to victims of crime but to others who have been through a tragedy, that you can get through almost anything. If a girl can get through being butchered almost to death, if one can do that, then almost anything is surmountable. There is something about almost dying that gives you great strength – if you do survive, and if you do fight back.”

Saldana’s first breakout role was in Robert Zemeckis’ 1978 film I Wanna Hold Your Hand, but it was her role as Joe Pesci’s wife in the Martin Scorsese 1980 classic Raging Bull that gave her cred.

After recovering from her attack, Saldana went on to star in several TV shows but found success with the ’90s ABC drama The Commish, in which she played the wife of a police commissioner, played by Michael Chiklis.

Chiklis tweeted on Tuesday, “Painful to hear the news of Theresa’s passing. My family & I extend our love, condolences & support to her family in their time of grieving.”

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