Rudy Roblesâ journey from Leyte to Hollywood
Rudy Robles

Rudy Robles’ journey from Leyte to Hollywood

REMEMBER WHEN? - From the collection of DANNY DOLOR (The Philippine Star) - November 21, 2020 - 12:00am

Many of us have forgotten Rudy Robles, one of the first Filipino actors to appear in Hollywood films. Rudy’s journey from his native province of Leyte to Hollywood was remarkable.

Jose Bautista wrote about in an article, Star from Leyte, in Philippines Free Press, July 20, 1957 issue. Excerpts from the article of Bautista.

“ENNUI and the spirit of wanderlust drove Pastor Robles, just turned 17, to sneak away from his home in Sogod, Leyte, in 1928. He was determined to ‘see the outside world,’ and to make something out of the experience.

With Clark Gable

“He did make something out of it — but only after a long, slow but steady grind. Today, twenty-nine years later, the same wandering lad from Leyte is back in his native country, no longer an unknown and unsung country boy, but a reputable figure in the entertainment world sporting the professional name of Rudy Robles.

“Robles lingered in Cebu City long enough to round out his high school education. He managed to wangle a free boat ride to Manila in 1930, and the same year he was crossing the Pacific toward the ultimate goal of his wild dreams: America.

With Lucille Ball.

“In San Francisco, Pastor Robles lost no time in joining the army of job-seekers. It was the year after the Wall Street crash. Jobs were hard to find. His patience and self-reliance, however, were later rewarded. He worked as bell-boy, waiter, dishwasher and office help. Any job that came his way, he grabbed. With the savings accumulated from years of hard knocks in San Francisco, young, ambitious Robles shuffled off to Los Angeles in search of better opportunities. His job-hunting stint there eventually took him to Hollywood, the film metropolis and glamour capital of the world.

“Rudy Robles’ first important picture in Hollywood was The Real Glory which starred Gary Cooper, Andrea Leeds, David Niven and Broderick Crawford. Robles enacted the role of a Filipino constabulary officer, Lt. Yabo. This epic of Morolandia was shown in Philippine theaters in 1939. It might as well be branded ‘Rudy Robles’ glory.

“Rudy latest pictures include The Crooked Ring, Double Jeopardy and Devil Goddess, which stars Johnny Weissmuller of Tarzan series fame.” — RKC

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