During the reign of the big three in Philippine movies—Sampaguita Pictures, LVN Films and Premier productions—during the mid-19th century, many actors carved their name in the country’s cinema pantheon.
The following actors started their career in this studio and eventually made a number of films for Premier Productions:
Robert Arevalo—He first appeared as Totoy Kidlat in the action flick “Panginoon” with co-stars Bob Soler, Aura Aurea, Mina Aragon, Johnny Monteiro, Carol Varga, Oscar Keese, Lito Anzures and Jose Garcia under the direction of Efren Reyes.
Bernard Belleza—He specialized in secret agent and war films like “Pambihirang Tatlo” with co-stars Eddie Fernandez and Roberto Gonzales.
Joe De Castro –He appeared in “Medico Legal” with Eddie Rodriguez, Divina Valencia, Rodolfo Cristobal, Lucita Soriano, Neilo Nayo, Paquito Diaz and Abraham Cruz under the direction of Lauro Pacheco.
Chiquito—The comedian-turned-politician was a member of the Lo Waist Gang and appeared in “Lutong Makaw” with Fernando Poe, Jr., Corazon Rivas, Myra Crisol together with the Lo’ Waist Gang members. The film was shot in Hongkong under the direction of Pablo Santiago. The comedian also appeared in “May Pasikat ba Sa Kano” also with Fernando Poe, Jr. and Leonor Vergara.
Amado Cortez—Another member of the Padilla (Jose Padilla Jr. and CARLOS Padilla were his brothers), he appeared in “The 10th battalion in 38th parallel in Korea”, an action picture based on the true exploits of the Philippine contingent during the Korean war.
Rodolfo Cristobal—He portrayed the character of Johnny Davao and also appeared in other movies that included “Gabi sa Lagim”, “Pito ng Bignela”, “Lo’ Waist Gang Joins the Armed Forces” and “Walang Daigdig”.
Reynaldo Dante—His two unforgettable films were “Guapo” where he portrayed the title role and “Heneral Pana”, a historical film about Pinoy-Chinese ammunition expert who joined the Katipunan in the rfevolt against the Spaniards.
President Joseph Estrada—His breakthrough role was “Asiong Salonga”, a notorious Tondo hoodlum and kingpin. His other fi,ms included “Barilan sa Pugad Lawin” (1960) with co-star Liza Moreno, Jay Ilagan, Vicente Liwanag, Lauro Delgado, Vic Diaz, Avel Morado and Johnny Long under the direction of Gerardo De Leon.
Eddie Fernandez—He popularized the Lagalag character in local secret agent films. But he also starred in non-agent films like “Habang Ako’y Nabubuhay”, a suspense film co-starring Helen Gamboa, Johnny Monteiro and Lito Garcia under the direction of Lauro Pacheco.
Roberto Gonzalez –He was a true-to-life martial arts black-belter who appeared in “Pambihirang Tatlo”, a war picture which also starred Bernard Belleza and Eddie Fernandez.
Eddie Del Mar—The acknowledged finest Jose Rizal portrayer who appeared in “Sa Dating Kandungan” with co-star Aida Serna as Josephine Bracken. He also appeared in “Dimasalang”, a historical drama opposite Jessie San Juan.
Eddie Mesa—The acknowledged Elvis Presley of the Philippines appeared in “Hawaiian Boy” with Fernando Poe, Jr., Rosemarie Gil and Chiquito which was shot in Hawaii by Director Cirio H. Santiago.
Johnny Monteiro—He was the classic contravida of his era, playing villain to Efreen Reyes Sr. in such films as “Eskrimador”, “Prinsipe Villarba” and “Carlos Trece”. But he also played leading man in “Guerrero” with Arsenia Francisco, Eddie Del Mar, Edna Luna and Ramon D’Salva under the direction of Teodorico C. Santos. His other films included “Paladin”, “God Knows “and Suicide Susie”.
Danilo Montes—He appeared in the 1952 film, “Bandido” where he portrayed a dual role with co-stars Ester Buenaobra, Patria Plata and Luis San Juan, as well as “Tatlong Kabanata sa Buhay ko” with Anita Linda, Patria Plata and Amparo Karagdag as lead stars directed by Eddie Infante.
Jose Padilla, Jr. –He was a multi-awarded actor who appeared in “Gulong ng Palad” (1953) and “Sa Hirap at Ginhawa” (1954) with reel-and-real life patner Arsenia Francisco as his leading lady. His best actor trophies were for “Diego Silang” in 1951 and “Huk Sa Bagong Pamumuhay” in 1953.
Enrico Pimentel –He appeared in “Bulaklak at Paruparo”.
Fernando Poe, Jr.—The acknowledged King of Philippine Movies appeared in the film “Eva Dragon” (1950) with Merle Tuazon as in the title role, under the direction of Teodorico C. Santos. The other FPJ films (which paired him with Leonor Vergara) included “Laban sa Lahat”, “May Pasikat Ba Sa Kano?”, “Bon Voyage” and “Lo’ Waist Gang at Si Og Sa Mindoro” with Teresita Mendez, Jesus Ramos and Leila Morena.
Ely Ramos –He appeared in “Kaluwalhatian ng Langit” and “Palikero at Selosa” with Carmen Rosales.
Jesus Ramos—He played the role of the Pinoy Tarzan character Og in such films as “Ang Lo’ Waist Gang at Si Og sa Mindoro” with Fernando Poe, Jr. and the gang also with Teresita Mendez and “Si Og sa Maynila” with Leila Morena.
Ronald Remy—Hefirst appeared in “Prinsesa Naranja” with Fernando Poe, Jr. and Lani Orteyza. His other films included “Anak ng Bulkan”, also with FPJ and Ace York, and “Nagngangalit na Damdamin” with Helen Gamboa, Sammy Barreto, Eva Daren, Gloria Sevilla, under the direction of Jose Miranda Cruz.
Efren Reyes, Sr.—He appeared in so many films that included, among other, “Hokus Pokus” which co-starred Jose Padilla, Jr., Edna Luna and Anita Linda under the direction of Cesar Gallardo, and “Paltik” with Jose Padilla, Jr., Arsenia Francisco and Virgina Montes under the direction of Cirio H. Santiago.
Jose Romulo—He played the role of Pilipino Komiks private eye “DI-13” Rosario Noble under the direction of Cesar Gallardo. He also appeared in “El Jugador” with Edna Luna and Corazon Rivas, under the direction of Nemesio Caravana, and “Pandora” with Leila Morena as the lead actress.
Bert Silva -He appeared in “Mga Leon sa Lansangan” and “Pinakamagan-dang Hayop sa Daigdig” with Charito Solis, Willie Sotelo and Annabelle Huggins under the direction of Pablo Santiago.
Bob Soler—The basketball star turned actor in the films “Mister Basket-ball” and “Bon Voyage” with Fernando Poe, Jr., Eddie Mesa, Leonor Vergara, Lani Orteyza and Lily Marquez, under the directrion of Cesar “Chat” Gallardo.
Zaldy Zshornack—Another basketball star turned actor, he appeared in the following films: “Ukelele Boy”; “Gabi ng Lagim” with Fernando Poe, Jr. and the “Lo’ Waist Gang”; “Hongkong Honeymoon”, directed by Ramon A. Estella; “Sweetheart, Shirley, My Darling” and “Fil-American Girl” with wife Shirley Gorospe.
Your FEEDBACK can be posted at www.filmacademyphil.org/forum/