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Alice Ward, played in ‘The Fighter’ by Melissa Leo, dies in Massachusetts

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Alice Ward, the mother and one-time manager of retired boxing champion Micky Ward, died Wednesday in Boston. According to the Lowell Sun website, her son Dick Eklund confirmed her death.

Actress Melissa Leo won a best supporting actress Oscar earlier this year for her portrayal of Alice Ward in 2010’s ‘The Fighter,’ which itself was nominated for best picture. The film, directed by David O. Russell and also starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale and Amy Adams, dramatized the working-class family’s complicated relationship to life in the boxing ring.

Ward, 79, had been in poor health for some time, and suffered a heart attack in January. She had been in the hospital since then and was taken off life support Tuesday, according to the Lowell Sun.

Ward raised nine children, including her grandson, Dick Eklund Jr.

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Leo could not immediately be reached for comment.

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