Alice Ward managed her sons, Micky Ward and Dicky Eklund's fighting careers with a brash and confrontational fist while keeping their best interests at heart.

The whole world took notice this past December when the mother and Lowell, Mass., native was portrayed in an Oscar-winning performance by Melissa Leo in The Fighter.

Ward passed away on Wednesday at Boston's Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital of cardiac arrest, no more than a day after she was taken off life support, the Lowell Sun reports. She was 79 years old. 

Ward had been hospitalized since January, when she suffered a heart attack and a stroke and was pronounced dead for 45 minutes before regaining consciousness and began breathing on her own again. She lapsed into a coma on Tuesday evening and was taken off life support.

She is remembered fondly by her son, Micky, as a strong-spirited woman who had a "heart of gold."

Alice Ward is survived by her nine children, 19 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. Funeral plans have not yet been finalized.