Vikki LaMotta (January 23, 1930 – January 25, 2005), born Beverly Thailer, was an American model known as the second wife of champion boxer Jake LaMotta, during his peak years of success, during which time Vikki became a celebrity.
In the 1990s, she wrote an autobiography, but requested it not be released until after her death due to the information revealed in the book. After she died in 2005, Knockout!: The Sexy, Violent, Extraordinary Life of Vikki Lamotta was released. She was born in the Bronx, the daughter of Abraham Lucien and Margaret ‘Ruth’ Thailer. She had several siblings, including two sisters, Phyllis and Patricia. Her paternal grandparents were immigrants from Romania.
She married LaMotta when she was 16 after they met at a community pool. It was his second marriage and Vikki’s first. They divorced in 1957, after 11 years of marriage. During that time, Jake’s boxing career had started to slow down, and he began taking out his anger on Vikki. He became controlling of her, and Vikki was forced to leave him even though, at the time, they had three small children.
They had a daughter Christi and two sons – Jake Jr. and Joe – both of whom died in 1998. Jake Jr. died of liver cancer, and Joe in an airplane crash. In 1962, she married Tony Foster; they had a son, Harrison, and later divorced.
She was portrayed by actress Cathy Moriarty in the 1980 film Raging Bull. Moriarty was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Vikki. She is also known for her work as a model. She later posed nude for the cover of Playboy magazine in November 1981, at age 51. In her later years, she appeared in commercials for Vikki LaMotta Cosmetics, which as of 2016 is still operating. In 1992, she relocated to Florida, living on Hillsboro Beach.
She died following open-heart surgery in Boca Raton, Florida, on January 25, 2005, two days after her 75th birthday.