Cebu News

Dolphy is dead

- The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines—Comedy king Dolphy Quizon passed away last night after several weeks of being confined at the Makati Medical Center for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 83.

Dolphy, Rodolfo Vera Quizon Sr. in real life, was rushed to the hospital last June 16, 2012 after complaining of shortness of breath.

 Zsa Zsa Padilla, the comedy king’s wife, confirmed the news over ABS-CBN News, ending the confusion over the comedian’s death in social media.

News of the comedy king’s death trended on Twitter on Tuesday night as several celebrities expressed their condolences to the Quizon family in the micro-blogging site.

Dolphy was born July 25, 1928 in Tondo, Manila. The comedy king’s movie exposure started when he worked as a vendor inside the theater in Manila.

“Dugo at Bayan” was his first movie with Fernando Poe Sr. at 19 years old.

An entry on Dolphy in Wikipedia said that Dolphy did his first movie with Sampaguita Pictures titled “Sa Isang Sulyap Mo, Tita” in 1952. He starred with Pancho Magalona and Tita Duran.

The comedy king was also famous for playing gay roles. His most famous portrayal of a gay was Facifica Falayfay.

 After the movies, Dolphy was introduced to television in ABS-CBN. His first TV show was titled “Buhay Artista”.

 He made several blockbuster comedy movies after establishing RVQ Productions in 1965.

 He would later make famous the name Johnny Puruntong, the lead role in the television show John En Marsha, which aired in 1971.

With his lean physique and humble demeanor, Dolphy’s memorable characters, notably as the down-on-his-luck family man John Puruntong in the long-running sitcom “John and Marsha,” effectively captured the travails of the common Filipino who is able to find humor even in the direst situations.

Dolphy, who was just as known for his colorful love life, died after a five-year battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to his long-time partner, actress and singer Zsa Zsa Padilla.

“Sinasabi ko, huwag pamarisan ang mga ginagawa ko doon. Well, doon napunta ang buhay ko. Madali akong umibig, magdali akong magmahal kaya ganoon,” he said in his biography “Dolphy: Hindi Ko Ito Narating Mag-Isa,” which was released by ABS-CBN in time for the comedian’s 80th birthday.

 Dolphy had 18 children with six women: Manny, Salud, Rodolfo Jr., Freddie, Edgar and Raul with Engracia Dominguez; Mariquita, Carlos, Geraldino and Edwin with Gloria Smith; Ronaldo, Enrico, Madonna and Jeffrey with Baby Smith; Vandolph with actress Alma Moreno; and Zia and adopted daughter Nicole with Padilla.

 He also had a child, who’s now living in the United States, with Evangeline Tagulao.

Tondo boy

As a young boy, Dolphy sold peanuts and watermelon outside a nearby theater.

He took on other lowly jobs – as a porter and shoeshine boy – amid the hardships of World War II before trying out as a dancer and chorus boy at the Avenue and Lyric Theaters, where he took on the name “Golay.”

He reverted to his given name when he was discovered by Fernando Poe Sr. This led to Dolphy’s first movie “Dugo ay Bayan,” which he made when he was 19.

In 1952, he joined the stable of Sampaguita Pictures, where his star slowly began to shine with films such as “Sa Isang Sulyap Mo, Tita” with Tita Duran and Pancho Magalona,” “Jack ‘N Jill,” “Silveria,” “Tanzan,” “The Big Broadcast” and many others.

TV times

But for many followers of showbiz history, Dolphy’s biggest triumph was the multi-awarded sitcom “John en Marsha,” with the late Nida Blanca as his wife and a young Maricel Soriano as his daughter.

The TV comedy series about the struggles of a poor man working hard for his family while enduring the contempt of his condescending mother-in-law (Dely Atay-atayan) premiered in 1971 and ran for 15 successful years. It also spawned eight movies.

It was also around this time when Dolphy was finally recognized for his acting skills, after he bagged the FAMAS Best Actor prize for the critically acclaimed “Omeng Satansya.” He also earned raves for his dramatic turn as a transvestite raising a young boy in Lino Brocka’s “Ang Tatay Kong Nanay.”

By the late 1980s, however, Dolphy’s career took a downturn after his controversial breakup with Alma Moreno and news of his relationship with Padilla.

But in 1991, the comedian staged a major comeback with the ABS-CBN sitcom “Home Along Da Riles.”

Later years

Dolphy would once again win an acting award for yet another gay role when he starred in 2001’s “Markova: Comfort Gay,” about the real-life story of a Filipino homosexual who was forced to have sex with Japanese soldiers occupying Manila in World War II.

Dolphy shared the role with his real sons Eric and Epi Quizon, who played Markova in various stages of the character’s life. All three shared the Best Perfomer award at the Brussels International Film Festival.

Amid public clamor to have him declared a National Artist, Dolphy, who would have turned 84 next month, was awarded the Grand Order of the Golden Heart by President Benigno Aquino III in November 2010 for his contributions to art and culture.

It was also in 2010 that Dolphy released his last film “Father Jejemon,” an entry to the 2010 Metro Manila Film Festival, for which he won the Best Actor trophy. It was a double victory for him as he also took the Best Supporting Actor award for his performance in another entry, “Rosario.”

He also managed to star in a one more television show, “Pidol’s Wonderland,” for TV5.


According to the comedian’s son, Eric Quizon, his father was diagnosed with COPD five years ago. The illness, which hinders the flow of air to the lungs, is generally permanent and may be progressive over time.

Likening COPD to cancer, Quizon said Dolphy’s illness has developed into a toxic metabolic encephalopathy, which could lead to sepsis or the poisoning of the blood. – Philstar.com and ABS-CBNNews.com

“It’s a progressive disease. Para siyang cancer pero hindi kasing grabe ng cancer. ‘Yung body niya, patuloy lang siyang manghihina. It’s like emphysema. Ang ganitong klaseng sakit, five years ago sinabihan na siya na parang stage 4 ang sakit na iyon. In cancer terms, very critical na iyon,” Quizon explained.

Reports of Dolphy’s deteriorating health surfaced in late 2010, triggering numerous rumors about his death.Since then, he had been in and out of the hospital due to respiratory problems. Quizon said Dolphy survived ten bouts with pneumonia before the disease hit him again last June 9.

Yet despite his frail condition, Dolphy still managed to attend the launch concert of his daughter Zia Quizon last year.“Kahit medyo tagilid ako kailangan andito ako, bunso ko yan eh. I wish her all the luck,” he said at the time.

Throughout his battle with his illness, Dolphy maintained his sense of humor until the end, poking fun at the undying rumors about his condition.

“Huwag niyong madaliin; darating din tayo dyan,” he once said.

But on Tuesday, the laughter had finally come to a stop. –

Philstar.com (FREEMAN) 

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