The woman behind Melissa Leo‘s Oscar winning performance in “The Fighter” has passed away.
]]>Alice Ward died Wednesday (Apr. 27) after being removed from life support in a Boston area hospital, E! reports. She had been ill for quite a while, as Christian Bale made reference to her fighting spirit at the Critics Choice Awards. The 79-year-old was hospitalized on January 12th following a cardiac arrest. She stopped breathing for 30 minutes before regaining consciousness. “That is one tough cookie,” Bale noted during his acceptance speech. Leo had hoped to bring Ward as her date to the February 27th Academy Awards, but Ward was not well enough to make it. Upon learning of her Supporting Actress nomination, the actress had said “Shout-out to Alice, much love and all strengths.” Alice was the mother of boxers Mickey Ward and Dicky Eklund, who were the focus of Mark Wahlberg‘s 2010 film. She also had seven daughters. All nine children survive the tough-as-nails matriarch. No funeral plans have been announced yet.