Denise Baker, Jake LaMotta’s Wife: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Jake LaMOtta wife Denise Baker

Getty LaMotta and his wife Denise Baker pictured together in September 2012.

Throughout his controversial and eventful life, Jake LaMotta was married seven times. At the time of his death, LaMotta’s seventh wife, Denise Baker, was by his side. It was Baker who confirmed LaMotta’s passing to TMZ. The legendary boxer was 95. The gossip site reports that LaMotta suffered from pneumonia and that is condition had gotten worse over the last week.

Baker told TMZ, “I just want people to know , he was a great, sweet, sensitive, strong compelling man with a great sense of of humor, with eyes that danced.”

Here’s what you need to know about the woman who was by LaMotta’s side at the end:


1. There Was a 30-Year Age Difference Between LaMotta & Baker

"YOU DIRTY RAT BASTARD." PSA with Jake LaMotta, Denise Baker and Curt Stetter.."You Dirty Rat Bastard." A Public Service Announcement filmed in the Lowell District of Bisbee, Arizona July 26, 2014. Actors: Jake LaMotta (The Raging Bull) as "The Gent." Denise Baker as "The Elegant Wife," and Curt Stetter as "Big Greedy Oil." A Juan Carlos Peinado/Matt Levy Production. Created in response to a Drilling Issue in nearby Sulphur Springs Valley in 2014.2015-08-17T05:32:06.000Z

On January 4, 2012, LaMotta and Baker got married in Bisbee, Arizona, reported Page Six at the time. Baker told the tabloid that the pair would most likely “take a nap” after the small ceremony. A few days after the initial nuptials, the couple held a larger party for friends and family.


2. In 2012, the Pair Appeared in a ‘Theatrical Tell-All’ About LaMotta’s Career

Denise Baker Jake LaMotta wife

Getty

Around the time of their wedding the couple was starring in a “theatrical” tell-all about LaMotta’s career known as The Lady & the Champ. The show was written by Baker and starred the couple. It was also made into a movie. The filmmakers had to be clear that the movie had no connection to Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull.

Jake LaMotta wife Facebook page

FacebookDenise Baker pictured on her Facebook page.

During that stage show, LaMotta says of his numerous wives, “My first wife died from eating mushrooms. My second wife died from eating mushrooms. My third wife died of a skull fracture. She refused to eat the mushrooms.”

In a November 2012 interview with Esquire, LaMotta made two references to married life. The former champ said, “Most of the time husbands and wives argue about stupid, foolish things. If it doesn’t meant that much to you, give in to your wife. If you don’t give in, you’re giving in to to not having sex.” LaMotta also said, “My wife never I knew I was a drunk till the night I came home sober. Some jokes come out when I least expect it. When I get the cue, the joke comes out.”

During the theatrical show, it was Baker’s role to sing as well as recount “a few ambiguous details of her life,” according to the New York Times. The Times review goes on to say that Baker “breaks into overworked standards” such as “New York, New York” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” The review goes on to say that Baker is “the kind of singer who apologizes mid song as her voice cracks for the first of several times.”

The New York Post crucified the show calling it “mortifying.” The Post review adds that Baker was the one-time star of an erotic musical titled Let My People Come. According to Broadway World, that role was Baker’s only on Broadway.


3. The Couple Were Neighbors of Comedian Doug Stanhope in Arizona

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LaMotta and Baker’s home life was the subject of a September 2016 feature by the Sierra Vista Herald. In the article, the couple talked about living nearby to comedian Doug Stanhope in the Bakerville section of Bisbee, Arizona.

Denise Baker Jake LaMotta wife

InstagramLaMotta and Baker pictured together in July 2016.

Baker said of the town, “When I got here I just knew I found the right place.” Baker has lived in Bisbee since 1977. While Doug Stanhope described the town as “the middle of nowhere.” Bisbee is along the Mexico border about 200 miles south of Phoenix.

The couple was known to frequent Cafe Roka and the Copper Queen Hotel in the town while Baker was a regular golfer in Turquoise Valley, according to the Herald.

According to her Facebook page, Baker is a native of Brooklyn, New York. Baker attended high school at the Fontbonne Hall Academy in New York City. She attended college at Cochise College in Arizona.


4. Baker Is a Divorced Mother-of-2

Jake LaMotta wife Denise Baker

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Baker was identified as a divorce mother-of-two in a 2003 Observer feature on LaMotta. The New York Daily News named Baker’s daughters in their obituary of LaMotta as Meggen Connolley and Natalia Baker.

In the Observer article, LaMotta referred to Baker as his “fiancee.” The boxer goes on to say that LaMotta met Baker at PJ Clarke’s restaurant in Midtown Manhattan in 1993. The piece reads, “She’s been with him ever since, devoted, protective, ever by his side.”

LaMotta spokes about PJ Clarke’s in his Esquire interview saying, “Go to PJ Clarke’s and order a Cadillac. It may not be on the meu like that. But old-timers will remember. It’s a bacon cheeseburger.”

Baker is described also by the Observer as having a “lithe figure and shiny black hair belies her 53 years.” It was Baker who arranged the interview. She tells the Observer, “The Champ doesn’t have much money. And he’s always getting asked to do this sort of thing. He’s popular all over the world and his fans love him.” While LaMotta says, “I want to make her my wife; she’ll be lucky number seven. I’m still functioning, even at 80. Denise has got a great body. She excites me every time time she takes her clothes off. Hey, some guys can’t even function at 40.”


5. Baker Says LaMotta’s ‘Big Mouth’ Is What Prevented Him From Dating Hollywood Stars

Raging Bull (4/12) Movie CLIP – Jake Defeats Sugar Ray (1980) HDRaging Bull movie clips: http://j.mp/1EJs3EY BUY THE MOVIE: http://j.mp/1Ctwret Don't miss the HOTTEST NEW TRAILERS: http://bit.ly/1u2y6pr CLIP DESCRIPTION: Jake (Robert De Niro) defeats the undefeated Sugar Ray Robinson (Johnny Barnes). FILM DESCRIPTION: Martin Scorsese's brutal character study incisively portrays the true rise and fall and redemption of middleweight boxer Jake La Motta, a violent man in and out of the ring who thrives on his ability (and desire) to take a beating. Opening with the spectacle of the over-the-hill La Motta (Robert De Niro) practicing his 1960s night-club act, the film flashes back to 1940s New York, when Jake's career is on the rise. Despite pressure from the local mobsters, Jake trusts his brother Joey (Joe Pesci) to help him make it to a title bout against Sugar Ray Robinson the honest way; the Mob, however, will not cave in. Jake gets the title bout, and blonde teenage second wife Vickie (Cathy Moriarty), but success does nothing to exorcise his demons, even as he channels his rage into boxing. Alienating Vickie and Joey, and disastrously gaining weight, Jake has destroyed his personal and professional lives by the 1950s. After he hits bottom, however, Jake emerges with a gleam of self-awareness, as he sits rehearsing Marlon Brando's On the Waterfront speech in his dressing room mirror: "I coulda been a contender, I coulda been somebody." Working with a script adapted by Mardik Martin and Paul Schrader from La Motta's memoirs, Scorsese and De Niro sought to make an uncompromising portrait of an unlikable man and his ruthless profession. Eschewing uplifting Rocky-like boxing movie conventions, their Jake is relentlessly cruel and self-destructive; the only peace he can make is with himself. Michael Chapman's stark black-and-white photography creates a documentary/tabloid realism; the production famously shut down so that De Niro could gain 50-plus pounds. Raging Bull opened in late 1980 to raves for its artistry and revulsion for its protagonist; despite eight Oscar nominations, it underperformed at the box office, as audiences increasingly turned away from "difficult" films in the late '70s and early '80s. The Academy concurred, passing over Scorsese's work for Best Director and Picture in favor of Robert Redford and Ordinary People, although De Niro won a much-deserved Oscar, as did the film's editor, Thelma Schoonmaker. Oscar or no Oscar, Raging Bull has often been cited as the best American film of the 1980s. CREDITS: TM & © MGM (1980) Cast: Johnny Barnes, Robert De Niro Director: Martin Scorsese Producers: Robert Chartoff, Hal W. Polaire, Peter Savage, Irwin Winkler Screenwriters: Jake LaMotta, Joseph Carter, Peter Savage, Paul Schrader, Mardik Martin WHO ARE WE? The MOVIECLIPS channel is the largest collection of licensed movie clips on the web. Here you will find unforgettable moments, scenes and lines from all your favorite films. Made by movie fans, for movie fans. SUBSCRIBE TO OUR MOVIE CHANNELS: MOVIECLIPS: http://bit.ly/1u2yaWd ComingSoon: http://bit.ly/1DVpgtR Indie & Film Festivals: http://bit.ly/1wbkfYg Hero Central: http://bit.ly/1AMUZwv Extras: http://bit.ly/1u431fr Classic Trailers: http://bit.ly/1u43jDe Pop-Up Trailers: http://bit.ly/1z7EtZR Movie News: http://bit.ly/1C3Ncd2 Movie Games: http://bit.ly/1ygDV13 Fandango: http://bit.ly/1Bl79ye Fandango FrontRunners: http://bit.ly/1CggQfC HIT US UP: Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1y8M8ax Twitter: http://bit.ly/1ghOWmt Pinterest: http://bit.ly/14wL9De Tumblr: http://bit.ly/1vUwhH72015-03-27T21:08:13.000Z

In the Independent’s LaMotta’s obituary, it’s written that during a 2001 interview LaMotta said, “I was the number one playboy in Miami – I had dates with Hedy Lamarr, Jane Russell, Ginger Rogers, Jayne Mansfield and other, but I never got laid by any of them, something always happened.” Baker chimed in with, “Yeah, your big mouth is what happened.”

Robert De Niro said in a simple statement upon hearing of LaMotta’s death, “Rest in Peace, Champ.” During his career between 1941 and 1954, Lamotta won 83 fights, lost 19 and drew 4. LaMotta said about his career in a 2012 interview with Esquire, “I was able to convince my body that I could take it and nobody could hurt me. I might’ve gotten cut, stitches over my eyes. Broken nose. Broken hands. But I never really got hurt.”

De Niro told Time Magazine in 2013 that he trained alongside LaMotta in preparation for the movie. De Niro said, “He would say, ‘Hit me, don’t worry, don’t worry.’ He was 55 but he was really tough. I didn’t realize until I got to his age [how hard it is to] still take a punch.”