Ward Matriarch Dies

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April 27, 2011 | 6:00pm EST

The woman Oscar winner Melissa Leo played in gritty boxing film The Fighter has died at the age of 79.
Alice Ward, the mother of Irish boxing champ Mickey Ward and his brother Dicky Eklund, has been hospitalized in Boston, Massachusetts since January after she suffered a cardiac arrest and fell into a coma.

She regained consciousness after being placed on life support, but recently slipped back into a coma. She died on Wednesday, according to reports.

Alice managed both her sons’ sporting careers and Leo’s portrayal of the tough matriarch earned her the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award earlier this year.

Leo invited Ward to join her at the Oscars, but she was too ill to attend.