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Friday, October 12, 2007

THE LEGEND LIVES ON!



Born in Manila on August 20, 1939, his real name is Ronald Allan Kelley Poe (aliases, Fernando Poe Jr. and Ronwaldo Reyes). Reyes is the family name of his paternal grandmother, Martha Reyes. FPJ’s parents are actor-producer Fernando Poe Sr. and Elizabeth "Bessie" Kelley. The family name was originally spelled "Pou" from paternal grandfather Lorenzo Pou, a playwright, who migrated from Mallorca, Spain, to pursue mining and business interests here.

FPJ was second in a brood of six. He is the eldest son, coming after Elizabeth and before the late Andy, Jenny, Freddie, and Evangeline. He has a half brother, actor Conrad Poe, his late father’s son by actress Patricia Mijares. The Poes’ father died in 1951 when he let rabid puppies lick a wound he sustained during a shooting. Reports say he left his family in debt.

FPJ borrowed his screen name from his late brother Andy, the real Fernando Poe Jr. The senior Fernando Poe was the original "Palaris," who was considered a big star before and immediately after World War II. A graduate of the University of the Philippines (UP), the elder Poe became national artist Guillermo Tolentino’s model for the UP Oblation.

A high school dropout, he finished grade school in 1953 at San Beda College. Went to San Sebastian College and Mapua Institute of Technology in high school. But it was when he was in his sophomore high school year at the University of the East that he dropped out to join the movies.

He first worked as a messenger for a film exchange outfit earning P18 a week. He started acting in 1955 when he was only 15 years old. When director Mario Barri thought of doing a sequel to ‘Palaris,’ a movie produced and starred by Fernando Poe, he got the son for the title role, "Anak ni Palaris," and opted for the monicker Fernando Poe, Jr. as the new actor’s screen name.The movie, with Rosita Noble as Poe’s leading lady, was released in January 1955. It didn’t do well at the boxoffice. In early 1956, he was assigned a second lead role in Everlasting’s "Babaing Mandarambong," starring then Action Queen Celia Fuentes and Johnny Monteiro, and four days of work earned him P400. He was also asked to do a stunt in the movie "Simaron," (1956) starring Johnny Monteiro, Lilia Dizon and Celia Fuentes. He had to wear a skirt and a bandana as body double of actress Lilia Dizon who had sprained an ankle and couldn’t do a riding scene.

Reached fame and stardom via Larry Santiago Productions of "Lo’ Waist Gang," released in July 1956. The movie was such a hit that it started a fashion fad: low-waist pants. The industry took notice of the young Poe and considered his potential as an actor. The movie, "Kamay ni Cain," released in 1957, was his first acting nominated film where he played villain to lead star, Zaldy Zshornack. In 1958, he starred in two unforgetable action films, " Pepeng Kaliwete" and " Laban sa Lahat," which started his colorful acting career as an action star. Then in 1959, he got a big break in the film, "Tough Guy," but it was in the movie, "Markado," produced by a new outfit, Hollywood- Far East Productions, released in 1960, that marked and established him as a major action star, where he demanded a huge talent fee for his services. He quoted his talent fee at P8,000. Followed by series of box-office hits such as "Tatlong Baraha," "Kilabot sa Barilan," "Sakristan Mayor," "Walang Patawad," among others.

1960 to 1970 were his productive years, starring at least 7-10 films a year. Started directing films using the pen names of D’lanor (his first name spelled backward) and later, Ronwaldo Reyes.
In the early 60’s, "Apollo Robles" and "Ako Ang Katarungan" (considered one of his best films) were released, both directed by the great Gerry De Leon.

In mid 1963, together with fellow star, Joseph Estrada, they stood up and exposed the dreaded "Big 4" syndicate, a crime group that extort money from movie stars and threatened them with disfigurement. It was reported that both Poe and Estrada stocked up arms when they refused to give any money to the syndicate.

Established FPJ Productions in 1962 with its initial offering, "Batang Maynila." The movie, "Sigaw ng Digmaan," produced by his outfit was adjudged Famas Best Picture of 1963. Likewise, two of his other films, "Mga Anghel na Walang Langit" (1970) and "Ang Padrino" (1984) also won the Famas Best Picture Awards.He also organized sister companies D’Lanor, JAFERE, and Rosas Productions.

Starred for the first time with Susan Roces (Jesusa Sonora in real life) in "Daigdig Ko’y Ikaw" in 1965. They were later married in a civil wedding, then at the church wedding in December 1968. Among their sponsors were then President Ferdinand Marcos and First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos. They have a daughter, Mary Grace.

Received his first Famas Best Actor in 1967, for his role as a fighting priest in "Mga Alabok sa Lupa."

In 1970, he starred in Lea Productions,"Santiago," a war film, his only movie with the late Lino Brocka. He portrayed the role of a conscience-stricken guerilla fighter who inadvertently bombed a schoolhouse where the Japanese garrisoned over a hundred civilians. He languished in a neighboring town and was branded a coward.

Received his second Famas Best Actor in 1971, for "Asedillo," a true-to-life story of Teodoro Asedillo, an idealistic schoolteacher who rebelled against the American colonial government.

Received his third Famas trophy for Best Actor in 1979 for his role as a streetfighter in "Durugin Si Totoy Bato."

In 1980, he starred in a 3-hour epic, "Aguila," a film directed by Eddie Romero, where he essayed the role of Daniel Aguila, head and patriarch of the influential and powerful Aguila clan.

Received his fourth and fifth Famas Best Actor trophies for his role as a vengeful cop in "Umpisahan Mo, Tatapusin Ko" in 1983 and as a Muslim cop assigned in the big city in "Muslim Magnum .357" in 1986. With his fifth Famas Best Actor trophy, he was elevated to the Hall of Fame.

Received FAP Best Actor Awards for "Umpisahan Mo, Tatapusin Ko" in 1983 and "Eseng ng Tondo" in 1997.

His last film was "Pakners," with Billiard King Efren 'Bata' Reyes.

In 2004, he ran for the Presidency against incumbent President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, but lost by a mere 1.1 million votes. He filed an electoral protest accusing Arroyo of electoral fraud.

He died on December 14, 2004, after suffering a stroke. He was 65.

7 comments:

Roland said...

I hate the term that FPJ lost the presidential election last 2004. For we all knew that he was cheated clearly in that election. Hindi sya natalo kundi dinaya. Ang nakaupo ngayon ay isang bogus president... FPJ is the real president kahit na kinuha na sya ni Lord. He will always be respected and loved by most Filipinos. He will never be forgotten kahit na ilang taon pa ang lumipas.

yuri said...

sana mag post ka ng ilang video movie scene ni fpj at susan.like yung sa divina gracia yung ending part nun, grabe sobrang romantic at ganda.

yuri said...

kasi sa youtube wala ding makitang videos ng clip from their movies eh. and sana wag mo palitan yung pic ni fpj sa opening ng video48. more power

oly said...

can some 1 out there help me find a souvenir t-shirt of F.P.J, we would like to have, or that documentary film about the cheatings that happened in 2004. i w/ my family & friends believe that he won by a landslide in 2004. i hope this would start our long friendship those who admired & love FPJ, the masses & intellectual beings. thanks & god bless us all! - oLy......gossip_client@yahoo.com

berongg said...

galing ng blog mo tol, it's good to know there are individuals out there who keep the memory and legacy of FPJ alive. Sa mga haters at detractors ni Da King, inggit lang yan, :D

Anonymous said...

tama! ang galing 220 namang sya ang nanalo!

Anonymous said...

super gwapo tlaga ni fpj. pde pa copy ng pics niya.