A lot of labels have been tagged to FPJ’s name --- Ang Alamat or The Legend, Mr. Box-office, Da King, Ang Maestro or The Master, and a host of other appellations --- but no word can describe him better than “hero.” The tag “hero” has always been associated with Ronnie Poe, mainly because of the kind of movies his fans prefer and the kind of man they want to see him personify onscreen --- an unsung hero, the champion of the oppressed, and the protector of the underdog. And Ronnie has obliged--- he sticks to this formula in making films. His roles usually have him portraying a soft-spoken but relentless avenger; a do-gooding but loner adventurer, and he is always clothed with mystery. He is, in sum, the fairy tale hero, embodying the populist dreams of salvation.
Besides doing the usual roles of a gunslinger (i.e.Daniel Barrion, Franco Madero, Daniel Bartolo) in a ala-style Philippine western settings, a police officer (i.e. Mediavillo, Epimaco Velasco), a policeman (i.e. Isang Bala ka Lang, Kapag Puno na ang Salop, Muslim Magnum 356 ...) military man (i.e. Walang Pagkalupig, Kahit Butas ng Karayom...), a guerilla (i.e. Mga Tigreng Taga-Bukid, Walang Hanggan, Santiago), or a swordman (i.e. Duke de Borgonia, 12 Kuba, Ang Maestro, Prinsesa Naranja), a politician (Hagedorn). He played a juvenile delinquent in his launching movie, Lo' Waist Gang and Tough Guy. Would you believe a lawyer in Isa para sa Lahat, Lahat para sa Isa? He also did various roles simply portraying a simple, ordinary man.
- As a garbage collector in Dampot, Pukol, Salo
- As a priest in Mga Alabok sa Lupa
- As a butcher in Batang Matadero
- As a taxi driver in May Isang Tsuper ng Taxi
- As a ‘kutsero’ or rig driver in Nardong Kutsero
- As a jeepney driver in Syota kong Balikabayan, Pakners
- As a mechanic in Isusumbong Kita sa Tatay Ko, Sigaw ng Katarungan
- As an escaped convict in Tundo:Isla Puting Bato
- As an ex-con in Ex-Convict
- As a market hawker in Salaginto't Salgubang
- As a barangay captain in Dito sa Pitong Gatang
- As a boxer in Apollo Robles
- As a streetfighter and brawler in Totoy Bato
- As a family driver in Bato sa Buhangin
- As a plumber in Batya't Palu-Palo
- As a miner in Bontoc and Langit at Lupa
- As a truck driver in Daigdig Ko’y Ikaw, Ikaw ang Mahal Ko
- As a bodyguard in Kahit Konting Pagtingin
- As a billiard player in Ginintuang Kamay, Isa-Isa Lang, Pakners
- As a fisherman in Alupihang Dagat, Kapag Buhay ang Inutang...
- As a farmer in Sanctuario, Kapag Lumaban ang Api, Esteban...
- As a bouncer in Pitong Gatang
- As a blacksmith in Ang Panday
There were some occasion and instances that he traversed into the so-called “screwball” romantic comedies with wife Susan Roces, portraying roles as henpecked husband or 'ander di saya,' deviating from his usual tough guy image in such movies as Manedyer Si Kumander, No Retreat No Surreneder si Kumander...
He also did some off-beat roles in some of his movies like as a thief in Diegong Akyat, a small-time swindler in Alyas
1-2-3 or a pickpocket in Magnong Mandurukot and Ang Leon at ang Daga. He was a villain, yes a 'kontrabida' in Kamay ni Cain and Bicol Express (as a serial killer).