Susan, Amalia together after 45 years

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo - The Philippine Star

Really now, was it four decades and five years ago that Susan Roces and Amalia Fuentes did a movie together (that is, outside of their mother studio, Sampaguita Pictures), titled Cover Girls (with Bob Soler and the late Tito Galla as leading men), produced by Susan’s then boyfriend (later husband) Fernando Poe Jr.’s Jafere Productions? Heralded the movie’s blurb: “The country’s top and most glamorous stars…gloriously reunited in the year’s most fabulous motion picture.”

How time flies?

Since then, Susan and Amalia have gone through life in a way that they never perhaps experienced in any of their movies, but they have emerged triumphant, beautiful survivors, and grown (and how!) in more ways than one.

Susan and Amalia occupy special spots in their fans’ hearts, that’s why the announcement that they are starring in Muling Buksan ang Puso, an ABS-CBN teleserye, was met with jubilation. Good friends and kumares in real life, they will play protagonists, with Amalia as the kontrabida. Part of the Kapamilya Network’s 60th-anniversary celebration, the teleserye directed by Manny Palo and Nuel Crisostomo, also stars, among others, Julia Montes and Enrique Gil, with Dante Rivero as the man between Susan and Amalia.

To celebrate Susan and Amalia’s long-delayed onscreen reunion, Funfare’s “other beauty expert” Celso de Guzman Caparas contributed the following trivia:

Susan and Amalia are both mestiza. Susan was born Jesusa Purificacion Levy Sonora on July 28, 1941, to a Spanish-Chinese mother and a French Jewish father. Amalia was born Amalia Amador Muhlach on August 27, 1940, to a Spanish-German father and a Chinese mestiza mother.

Under Sampaguita and Vera-Perez Pictures, Susan guested in Amalia starrers Rodora and Movie Fan (1956) and Pretty Boy (1957). Then, they were topbilled in Madaling Araw, Mga Reyna ng Vicks, Tawag ng Tanghalan and Ulilang Anghel (1958); Pitong Pagsisisi, Kahapon Lamang, Ipinagbili Ko Ang Aking Anak and Wedding Bells (1959); Siete Amores, Sa Hardin ng Diyos and Amy, Susie & Tessie (1960); Sa Linggo Ang Bola and Joey, Eddie & Lito (1961); The Big Broadcast and Tulisan (1962); and Amaliang Mali-Mali at Susanang Daldal  (1963).  

Both were nominated by FAMAS: In 1967, Susan for Maruja and Amalia for O, Pagsintang Labis!; in 1972, Susan for Bilangguang Puso and Amalia for Babae…Ikaw Ang Dahilan; in 1973, Susan for Hanggang sa Kabila ng Daigdig and Amalia for Pag-ibig Mo, Buhay Ko; and in 1974, Susan for Patayin Mo sa Sindak si Barbara and Amalia for Isang Gabi…Tatlong Babae.

Amalia won FAMAS Best Actress for Ibulong Mo Sa Hangin (1966) while Susan won twice for Maligno (1977) and Gumising Ka, Maruja (1978).

Susan and Amalia were among the bridesmaids (with Daisy Romualdez and Barbara Perez) at the wedding of Gloria Romero and Juancho Gutierrez on Sept. 24, 1960.

Amalia went freelance in 1963 and Susan in 1965.

Both became film producers. Amalia put up her own film outfit, AM Productions with Ibulong Mo Sa Hangin (starring herself and Romeo Vasquez) as its maiden offering, shown on Aug. 26, 1966, at Galaxy Theater. Susan put up her Rosas Productions with Kulay Rosas Ang Pag-ibig (starring herself and Ramil Rodriguez) as its initial offering, shown on May 29, 1968, at Ever Theater. 

Amalia and Susan were among the first celebrity endorsers of Coke in the ‘50s.

Amalia was the first Filipina Lux Girl in 1964 and in 1967; Susan joined the list of other celebrity Lux Girls.

Amalia married Romeo Vasquez in 1965 and Susan wed Fernando Poe Jr. on Dec. 25, 1968. Both have a daughter, Amalia’s is Liezl Sumilang-Martinez and Susan’s is senatoriable Grace Poe-Llamanzares. Like their moms, the daughters are good friends. When Grace was MTRCB chief, Liezl was (and still is) among the members.

(E-mail reactions at [email protected] You may also send your questions to [email protected] For more updates, photos and videos visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on www.twitter/therealrickylo.)









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