Theresa Saldana, ‘Raging Bull’ and ‘The Commish’ Star, Dies at 61

Theresa Saldana Dead: 'Raging Bull,' 'The

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 Teresa 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 Rachel 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.


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  1. Christina Savarino says:

    I’m so sadden to hear of Theresa Saldana’s death. I just found out about it today (04/12/2017) on some segment on the web. She has always been one of my favorite actresses. I’ve mostly enjoyed watching her on one of my favorite television shows which was “The Commish”. My deepest condolences to her family. Theresa and her family will always will always be in my prayers.

  2. Phyllis says:

    I was sad to hear of Teresa’s passing. Currently I am watching “The Commish”. I just loved her role as Rachael Scali. I also saw the movie she starred in Victims The Teresa Saldana Story. She was one of my favorites! I’ll never forget you. RIP Phyllis A Fan

  3. JOE S HILL says:

    Terrible loss! i remember Theresa Saldana’s earlier movie,”DEFIANCE” (1979) with Jan Michael Vincent,which was a pretty good movie,about a street gang terrorizing a big city neighborhood! but Saldana’s fame was messy,after the star stalking psycho that tried to kill her,back in the 80s-i hope that guy is still behind bars for what he did! again,truly a serious loss!!

  4. Fran Ayers says:

    She was a great television Actress and a wonderful human being.May she rest in peace!!

  5. So sad to here this. Beautiful lady and a true survivor. Prayers for her family and friends.

  6. Tom Jones says:

    Theresa was a beautiful woman and an excellent actress. We enjoyed watching her on The Commish for its run. She will be remembered and missed.

  7. Carol Loman says:

    She was a real Survivor who survived a brutal knife attack & became a Victim’s advocate. My favorite was her performance in Raging Bull, very poignant. RIP Teresa.

  8. She was Rachel Scali not Rebecca Scali

  9. Gary Telford says:

    RIP Theresa. Very saddening news..will always remember you as Lenore in Raging Bull.
    Hoping this premature passing is not a delayed result of your senseless attack..Gary. x

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