By Tante de Ramos
A great number of Filipino actors—some of them actually the first superstars of their generation—came about during the post-war era up to the 1950s, a span of time that was considered as the first Golden Age of Philippine Cinema. Listed hereunder are thirty of these memorable actors:
Narding Anzures—Narding was in a stellar cast that included Norma Blancaflor, Ely Ramos, Lilian Velez., Nati Rubi, Florentino Ballacer, Pugo and Tugo in the film Binibiro Lamang Kita. It was directed by Carlos Vander Tolosa and produced by Philippine Pictures. He played the lead in Ang Estudyante with co-star Lilian Velez, Pugo, Tugo and Amparo Velez who was introduced in this film which was directed by Ferwin Barva for Philippine Pictures. His last picture was Sa Kabukiran with Lilian Velez who was his usual loveteam. He was eventually charged for the killing of Lilian Velez.
Teody Belarmino—He played the leading roles In such films as Candaba and Krus na Bakal, which both co-starred him with Tessie Quintana. He also appeared in Kandelerong Pilak with Lilia Dizon who won the best actress award for this film in the Cambodian Film Festival. This film was directed by Lamberto Avellana. In a remake of Mutya ng Pasig, he co-starred with Lilia Dizon, Jose Padilla, Jr. and Rebecca Gonzales.
Tony Benroy— A muscleman titleholder, Tony appeared in the film Si Malakas at Si Maganda with Rosa del Rosario as his leading lady. The movie was produced by Philippine Paradise Pictures and was directed by Violeta del Campo.
Ernesto Bohol—Ernesto starred in Ang Limpia Bota with Pacita Francisco, a Miss Luzon beauty contest winner. The movie was produced by Far East Films.
Amado Cortez—A member of the Padilla acting clan and husband of Gloria Sevilla, Amado appeared in 10th Battation sa 38th Parallel Korea with Arturo Lerna which was produced by Premiere Productions, Inc. He also appeared oppostive his wife Gloria Sevilla in the film Takdang Sandali. Also in th cast were the real husband-and-wife team of Mila Ocampo and Von Serna, the parents of actress Snooky..
Eddie Garcia – A perennial kontrabida during the early part of his acting career before he became a leading man in both action and sex comedy films in the l990s, Eddie was already a lead star in the immortal Siete Infantes de Lara with Manuel Conde Jr., Mario Montenegro and Johnny Monteiro. During this period, he was the usual villain or kontrabida in most Sampaguita Picture films. Among these films were Sino ang Maysala? with Romeo Vasquez, Amalia Fuentes and Paraluman, Taga sa Bato with Luis Gonzales, Paraluman, Lolita Rodriguez and Van de Leon. He was still the favorite villain of the king of Philippine Movies, Fernando Poe, Jr. in most of the films produced by FPJ Films.
Luis Gonzales—He was introduced in the film Pilya and became a contract star of Sampaguita Pictures. His teamup with Gloria Romero was one of the most popular movie teamups in the annals of Philippine movies. He also appeared in such films as Ang Rosario at ang Tabak, Artista, Ikaw ang Aking Buhay, Hootsy-Kootsy, Alaalang Banal, Dispatsadora, Ang Tangi Kong Pag-ibig, and Wen, Manang with Gloria Romero. Though his action films were few and far in between, he starred in Taga sa Bato with Paraluman, Lolita Rodriguez, Van de Leon and Eddie Garcia under the direction of Conrado Conde. Other memorable films were Pinagbuklod ng Langit, Iginuhit ng Tadhana where he appeared as the late President Ferdinand Marcos. This was produced by 777 Films.
Armando Goyena– Armando, the patriarch of the showbiz Revilla clan that includes Tina, Maritess and Johnny, was an LVN Pictures top con tract actor who wa perennially paired with Tessie Quintana in such films as David at Goliath, Tia Loleng, Misteryoso, Princesa Basahan, Talisman, Damong Ligaw and Hawayana. He was the first ever Kapitan Kidlat in the film directed by Oscar del Rosario. He also appeared in Anak ng Berdugo with Cecilia Lopez and Johnny Reyes which was directed by Richard Abelardo and Harana sa Karagatan. But Armando was still active up to the 21st century. Actyually, he even won a FAMAS best actor award in Yamashita, which was directed by Chito Roño for Regal Films Entertainment Inc.
Virgilio Hilario—A businessman, Virgilio appeared in just one picture, Now and Forever, opposite the first ever Miss Universe winner in the person of Finnish beauty Armi Kuusela who later became his wife. This big box-office hit was produced by Daegar Cinema Productions, Inc.
Pancho Magalona—The son of a Philippine senator, Pancho and his real life wife Tita Duran, appeared in so many Sampaguita Pictures movies. These included Bella Filipina, Dahil Sa Iyo, Bulaklak na Walang Pangalan, Maria Went To Town, Milagro Ng Birhen Ng Mga Rosas, Vod-A-Avil, Always, Ang Ating Pag-ibig, Kay Ganda Mo Neneng, Kasintahan sa Pangarap, Sabas, Ang Barbaro, Mr. & Mrs., Buhay Pilipino and Tatak ni Solomon. He also appeared in which was directed by Rolf Bayer for Shaw Malaya Film Productions. His son Francis Magalona is still active in showbiz.
Eddie del Mar—The actor known for portraying our national hero Dr. jose Rizal, Eddie was introduced in the movie La Paloma of Sampaguita Pictures with co-stars Paraluman, Fred Montilla and Lilian Leonardo under the direction of Tor Villano. He also appeared in Ulilang Kalapati, Kapilya sa may Daang Bakal (with co–stars Tita Duran and Oscar Moreno) and Hele Hele Bago Quiere. Other films included Guerrero (with Johnny Montiero in the title role, Arsenia Francisco and Edna Luna) and Hindi Kita Anak (with Mario Montenegro, Tessie Quintana, Cynthia Zamora and Bob Soler. Both films were directed by Teodorico C. Santos for Premiere Productions, Inc. In Ang Buhay at Pag-ibig ni Dr. Jose Rizal, he won the FAMAS Best Actor award.
Johnny Monteiro—He was a favorite actor of Manuel Conde, appearing in the latter’s film masterpieces such as Siete Infantes de Lara (with Mario Monte-negro and Eddie Garcia), Sigfredo (with Elvira Reyes) and Genghis Khan which participated in the Venice Film Festival. He played the lead roles in Paladin and Guerrero (with Arsenia Francisco, Eddie del Mar and Edna Luna) as directed by Teodorico Santos for Premiere Productions,Inc. He played a drug addict in Ako’y Alipin ng Opio and appeared as the main villain Carlos Trece, Eskrimador and Prinsipe Villarba which all starred Efren Reyes Sr.
Mario Montenegro—He appeared in such films as Dambanang Putik, Bohemyo, Ilaw sa Karimlan, Among Tunay, Topo-Topo, Doce Pares, Lapu-Lapu, Rodrigo de Villa, Prinsipe Tiñoso and Tatlong Labuyo. He was almost always paired opposite Delia Razon. Their teamup in action costume pictures proved a sure-fire formula in the box office. He was a contract star of LVN Pictures. His other films included Hindi Kita Anak with Tessie Quintana, Eddie del Mar, Cynthia Zamora and Bob Soler, which was directed by Teodorico Santos for Premiere Productions Inc. and Ang Iyong Lingkod, Gloria Romero which have four leading men playing opposite Gloria—Mario, Ric Rodrigo, Luis Gonzales and Juancho Gutierrez, which was directed by Jose de Villa for Sampaguita Pictures. Inc. In his senior years, he even appeared in Itim, a film directed by Mike de Leon which won Charo Santos a best actress award in the Asian Film festival. He also appeared in Anak ng Supremo, a Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla Jr. starrer, which gave him a nomination for best supporting actor.
Danilo Montes—He portrayed the title role in the historical biopic Heneral Paua, a Filipino with Chinese origin who played a role in the Philippine revolution. The film was produced by Premiere Productions, Inc. He also appeared in Paniwalaan Dili with Liza Moreno, and comedians Lopito, Patsy, Vicente Liwanag and Gregorio Ticman under the direction of Carlos Vander Tolosa under Lebran Productions, Inc. He was a planetman in Ezxur where he co-starred with Edna Luna, Danilo Montes Cynthia Zamora and Jose Velez, a Mr. Philippines for Peoples Pictures, Inc. He also appeared in Sandino with Ester Buenaobra, Patria Plata and Luis San Juan.
Fred Montilla—An actor-turned-politician, Fred appeared in La Paloma with Paraluman, Lilian Leonardo and Eddie del Mar. He also appeared In Ang Kampeon, Tulisang Pugot (with Tita Munoz and Tolindoy), Tres Muskitiros (with Oscar Moreno and Cesar Ramirez), Si Kerubin At Si Tulisang Pugot (with Tessie Agana) and Labintatlong Hakbang (with Linda Erstrella). But he will always be remembered in his role as Bondying (and its sequel Tatay na si Bondying) with Myrna Delgado. All films were produced by Sampaguita Pictures, Inc. His brother Rudy Francisco and his son Francis Montilla also became part of the local show business.
Oscar Moreno—The father of Boots Anson Roa and Alvin Anson, Oscar appeared in films such as Berdugo ng mga Anghel, Ang Asawa Kong Amerikana (with Joan Page), Sa Kabilang Buhay (with Paraluman), R.O.T.C., Si, Si, Señorito (with Carmen Rosales and Fred Montilla), Dugong Bughaw, Hihintayin Kita, Kasaysayan ni Dr. Ramon Selga and MN (with Carmen Rosales, Cesar Ramirez and Alicia Vergel. All films were produced by Sampaguita Pictures, Inc. He made Romeo at Julieta with Erlinda Cortez under Lebran Productions.
Ben Perez—He was one of the Tatlong Limbas–Leopoldo Salcedo and Ben Rublo were the others– in a film produced by Royal Productions. He also appeared in Rosario Cantada (with Lita Rio, Rosa del Rosario and Erlinda Cortes), May Karapatang Isilang (with Rosario del Rosario, Jose Padilla Jr and Paraluman) which was produced by Deegar Cinema, Bagong Umaga (with Maria Norma Mendoza and Mario Barri) in a film directed by National Artist for Film Gerardo de Leon, who also directed him in Hanggang sa Dulo ng Daigdig with Panho Magalona, Mona Fernandez and Loreta de Lara for Pacific Movie Productions.
Cesar Ramirez—The father of Ace vergel, Cesar starred in Huwag Ka Nang Magtampo and was introduced in Huling Patak ng Dugo. He was the title role in Palasig with Gloria Romero. In Bernardo Carpio, Dumagit, Ukala and Diwani he starred oppostite with reel and real life wife under the auspices of Sampaguita Pictures, Inc. He appeared with other Mr. Philippines title holders like Jesus “Og “ Ramos, Stan Carbungco, Mario Hernandez and Pat Pagsibigan in Kahariang Bato which was produced by Tamaraw Productions. His daughter Beverly Vergel and granddaughter Tracy Vergel, like son Ace, also entered showbiz. .
Jesus Ramos—A Mr. Philippines title holder, Jess appeared in Og and Si Og sa Maynila with Leila Morena as his leading lady. He also joined the wacky teenage gang of FPJ and company in Ang Lo Waist Gang at si Og sa Mindoro with Fernando Poe, Jr., Zaldy Zshornack, Boy Francisco, Butch Bautista, Boy Sta. Romana., Tony Cruz, Paquito Toledo and Mario Antonio for Premiere Productions, Inc. He also appeared in Kahariang Bato with other Mr. Philippines title holders.
Sen. Ramon Revilla Sr.—A matinee idol who later became an action superstar playing heroes with amulets or anting-anting, Mang Ramon first starred in dramatic films like Anak Sa Panalangin, Recuerdo and Mister Kasintahan opposite Gloria Romero.He also appeared in Cofradia with Myrna Delgado and Bim Bam Bum with Gloria Romero, Rod Navarro and Aruray for Sampaguita Pictures .Inc. He produced films for his own movie outfit Imus Productions based on several true to life stories like Nardong Putik, Bianong Bulag, Mayor Gulapa and Kapitan Eddie Set. All were such verified box office hits. He also appeared in Ang Supremo and Sunugin ang Samar with Pilar Pilapil, a story of the massacre by American soldiers of Filipino natives of Balangiga in Samar. He even appeared in one episode of the horror quartet Gabi ng Lagim with Cecilia Lopez, Myrna Crisol and Rodolfo Cristobal under Larry Santiago Productions.His son Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla, Jr. followed his footsteps as actor and senator. Bong is married to actress Lani Mercado. Two of Mang Ramon’s grandsons, Brian and Jolo Revilla, are also actors. One of his sons, the late Ramon Bautista or RNB, also became a producer, making films that starred Mang Ramon and Bong. Another son, Marlon, is an actor, director and producer.
Efren Reyes—Known as an actor and a director of FPJ, Mang Efrem earely in his career appeared in costume pictures like Carlos Trese, Prinsipe Villarba and Eskrimador with Johnny Montero as the villain. He also appeared in Don Juan Teñoso with the comedian Lopito as his sidekick. In the film Bandido, he starred opposite Virginia Montes and Carlos Padilla Sr. and opposite Rosita Noble in Kapitan Berong. He made the classic Ifugao with Leila Morena, Leticia Ojera and Johnny Monteiro for Premiere Productions under the direction of Gerardo de Leon. Other films included Raul Roldan which was produced by MV Jr.. Productions. He was married to Virginia Montes. Their son Efren Reyes Jr. is still ana ctor-director today. His daughter Cristina Reyes was a movie and TV star, appearing as a villain in one the Dyesebel remakes that starred Vilma Santos.
Rudy Robles—He appeared in the film Princesa sa Tawi-Tawi which was shot in scenic Visayas with Ruby Sol. He also directed the film for his own movie outfit RPR Productions.
Ric Rodrigo—Ric was introduced in Prince Charming with Gloria Romero. He also appeared in Anino ni Bathala with Paraluman, Marlene Dauden and Eddie Garcia under the direction of Conrado Conde and in Diyosa opposite his reel and real wife Rita Gomez. One of the popular loveteam partner of Gloria Romero, he was also in the cast of Ang Inyong Lingkod Gloria Romero with Mario Montenegro, Luis Gonzales and Juancho Gutierrez. He starred opposite Charito Solis in Dahil Sa Isang Bulaklak which gave Charito Solis the best actress award in the Asian Film Festival. Ric again starred with Charito in Igorota with Mario Motenegro and Eddie Garcia as produced by the Luis Nepomuceno Productions. His son Ronald Bregendahl was also an actor.
Jose Romulo—He appeared in such films as Pandora (with Leila Morena), Conde del Monte Carlo, Dakilang Hudas, Apat na Kasaysayang Ginto (in the episode Santa Lucia with Arsenia Francisco), and Exzur. He played the komiks detective DI-13 with Rosita Noble as his leading lady, supported by Arsenia Francisco, Ramon D’Salva, Lopito and Vicente Liwanag. It was directed by Cesar Gallardo. He also appeared in one of the episodes of Gabi ng Lagim with Yolanda Guevarra, Marietta Miranda, Paquito Diaz and Aida Villegas for Larry Santiago Productions, Inc.
Jaime dela Rosa—The younger brother of Rogelio dela Rosa, Jaime starred in Biglang Yaman with Rosa Rosal, Pugo and Togo, Batalyon XIII with Carmen Rosales and Korea with Nida Blanca who won the FAMAS best supporting actress. He also appeared in Nina Bonita (with Charito Solis), Kumander 13, and No Money No Honey with Carmonsita Abad directed by Lamberto Avellana Tanikalang Papel and Engkantada (with Lilia Dizon, Lilian Velez, Pugo, Tugo, and Alfonso Carvajal). All films were produced by LVN Pictures. He also made Dalawang Panata (with Tessie Quintana) and Reyna Elena under the direction of Susana C. de Guzman.
Rodolfo Ruiz—He appeared in Rosalinda with Tita Muñoz in the title role. The milieu of the film was radio and the recording industry.
Carlos Salazar—Carlos appeared in Abarinding and Dalagang Nayon (both with Tessie Quintana) though they were supported in the latter film by Rosa Aguire, Oscar Obligacion, Mario Roldan, Cora Madrid, Gumercindo Buencamino, Menggay and Fernando Garcia under the direction of Artemio Marquez. It was produced by LVN Pictures, Inc. Carlos, a renowned poker player in the country, played villain roles in some action movies.
Leroy Salvador—He starred in , Huk sa Bagong Pamumuhay,Tiririt ng Ibon (with Charito Solis and Val Castelo under the direction of his father Lou Salvador Sr.) and Tatlong Kumando (with Pancho Megalona, Robert Campos, Carmencita Abad and Luz Valdez under the direction of Felicing Constantino. He also appeared in the popular radio program turned movie TangTarangTang with Sylvia La Torre, Pugo, Rosa Aquirre and Bentot . He was a contract star of LVN Pictures, Inc.
Jose Velez—He was a Mr. Philippines titleholder who appeared in Exzur in the titlerole of a planetman with Danilo Montes, Edna Luna, Cynthia Zamora and Jose Romulo. It was directed by Teodorico Santos and produced by Peoples Pictures, Inc.
Nestor de Villa—The equally famous other half of the Nestor-Nida loveteam with whom he made Ganyan Ka Pala, Hijo de Familia, Handang Matodas, Amor Mio, Tingnan Natin, Medalyong Perlas, Hiyasmin, Ikaw Kasi, Casa Grande and Turista. He also appeared in Singsing na Tanso, Limang Punglo (with Tessie Quintana), and Bayanihan (with Carmencita Abad, Manding Claro and Richard Bonnin) under the direction of Manuel Conde. All films were produced by LVN Pictures, Inc. But he and Nida also made films under different film outfits like Yeba Chiquicha, Sikat Na, Siga Pa, Jam Session and Limbo Rock for Dalisay Pictures and Sound of Buwisit, Wow na Wow, and Huwag Kang Sumingit for Kayumanggi Films, their co-venture.