Comedy King Dolphy dead at 83
Legendary Filipino actor Dolphy (Rodolfo Vera Quizon, Sr. in real life) passed away Tuesday night (July 10) following a cardiac arrest, according to a statement released by his son, actor-director Eric Quizon. The Philippines’ King of Comedy would have celebrated his 84th birthday on July 25.
Dolphy also suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and acute renal failure. His children, long-time partner Zsa Zsa Padilla, and other relatives were with him when he breathed last.
The Comedy King, who was rushed to the Makati Medical Center on June 9, was not feeling well for the past few weeks. He underwent several dialysis treatments while in the hospital, and had at least two bouts of pneumonia. After news broke about his death, people started posting messages on Facebook and Twitter directed to the comedian’s family.
Dolphy was born in 1928 in Tondo, Manila, where his father worked as a ship mechanic. During the Second World War, he did odd jobs including shining shoes, stevedore at the pier, and a horse and buggy driver.
Before making it big on the silver screen, the funnyman had created a string of impressive performances in radio and on stage. When Dolphy was starting as an actor, Pancho Magalona endorsed him to Dr. Jose Perez, the owner of Sampaguita Pictures. His first movie with the film outfit was Sa Isang Sulyap Mo, Tita. It was also in Sampaguita where the tandem of Dolphy and Panchito became popular.
An appearance in Jack en Jill in 1954 earned him a bunch of gay roles, notably as Walter Dempster in Markova: Comfort Gay. But Dolphy shaped himself from a 1950s comedian into a respected actor. In a long film and television career, he appeared in shows such as Buhay Artista, John En Marsha, Home Along Da Riles, and Pidol’s Wonderland and movies like Captain Barbell, Pacifica Falaypay, Ang Tatay Kong Nanay, Wanted: Perfect Father, Home Sweet Home, and Dobol Trobol.
More recently, he played a priest in Father Jejemon and appeared in the 2010 drama Rosario, in which he won the Best Supporting Actor trophy.
In 2009, “Pidol” was diagnosed with COPD, which causes limitations in lung air flow, causing shortness of breath. He also underwent kidney and heart bypass operations. As a result, his showbiz career slowed down, and was frequently admitted to the hospital.
Dolphy was never married, though he had six serious relationships. When not working, the Comedy King spent time with his kids.
RIP Mang Dolphy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this difficult time.