The first name that comes to mind when sex goddesses who became very good actresses are enumerated is Elizabeth Oropesa. While it’s true that she started as a sexpot or bold star, early on her acting talent was recognized – and amply rewarded.
Oropesa was launched to stardom in Mister Mo, Lover Boy Ko, produced by Jesse Ejercito and directed by Ishmael Bernal in the mid ’70s. That early, she got good notices and, soon enough, she won the FAMAS Best Actress Award for Lumapit, Lumayo ang Umaga, also directed by Bernal. Bernal would again direct Oropesa in Nunal sa Tubig, one of the best films of the ’70s.
Through the years, Oropesa, called with affection as red hot mama, collected more awards, including Best Supporting Actress trophies for Milagros and Sa Pusod ng Dagat, both directed by Marilou Diaz-Abaya and a Best Actress grandslam for Bulaklak ng Maynila," directed by Joel Lamangan.
How about the other red hot mama of Philippine movies, Alma Moreno?
Ibaba ang inyong mga kilay. While Alma isn’t noted for her acting talent, she has some fine films to her credit, topped by her launching movie Ligaw na Bulaklak, produced by Jesse Ejercito and directed by Ishmael Bernal, just like Mister Mo.
Alma was also good in another Bernal movie, City After Dark, Pablo Santiago’s Bahay-bahayan, Kasal-kasalan (a comedy), Elwood Perez’s Paraisong Parisukat and lately Mel Chionglo’s Kapalit.
The stars launched to stardom by Papa Jesse generally turned into award-winning actresses. Consider Amy Austria, Lorna Tolentino, Chanda Romero, Daria Ramirez, Beth Bautista, Glydel Mercado, who starred in the remake of Mister Mo.
Remember that Rio Locsin was launched by Regal in Disgrasyada in the early ’80s, just like Dina Bonnevie in Katorse, Cherie Gil in Problem Child and Gina Alajar in Diborsiyada. They all wore Mother Lily Monteverde’s Magic Kamison.
Rio has yet to win an acting award, but from nymphet she turned into a very good actress. She stood out in Lino Brocka’s Ina, Kapatid, Anak, shining in the formidable company of Charito Solis and Lolita Rodriguez. Rio outshone Vilma Santos and Boyet de Leon in Butch Perez’s Haplos.
Today, Rio plays most mother roles on the big and small screen. In time, she might just snag an acting trophy.
Glancing back much earlier, Rosa Rosal was the femme fatale of the ’50s, LVN’s other woman. Tita Rose rose above the sexy image and topbilled such classics as Bert Avellana’s Anak Dalita and Badjao and Manuel Silos’ Biyaya ng Lupa.
No need to say – but I’m saying it just the same – that Tita Rose is a Magsaysay awardee for public service, a recognition of her devotion to Red Cross.
The sex goddess of the ’60s, Rosanna Ortiz, was Asia’s Best Supporting Actress for Celso Ad. Castillo’s Patayin Mo Sa Sindak Si Barbara.
The Rosanna of the ’90s, Rosanna Roces, is also a fine actress, winning an Urian Best Actress award for Chito Roño’s La Vida Rosa.
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