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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Apr 21, 2016

Let's Pay Tribute To Our Actresses Who've Been Active In Showbiz From The 50s To The Present

AFTER 40 years in showbiz, we can say that we’ve really seen stars come and go. We’re happy that we got to personally meet the top and best actresses of our country. When we joined local showbiz in 1976, we were still able to meet and interview movie queens who have since left us, like Carmen Rosales, Nida Blanca and acting great Charito Solis.

The eldest working actress who’s still active up to now is Anita Linda, who was born in 1924, so she’s now 92 years old. She started acting during World War II and was just seen in “Whistleblower” as Nora Aunor’s mom. Actresses who are now in their 80s and still act include Gloria Romero (who’s 83) and Celia Rodriguez (82). Other actresses from the same era in the 50s and in the same age bracket are Lolita Rodriguez, Marlene Dauden and Rosemarie Gil, but they now live abroad.

After them comes the batch of Susan Roces and Amalia Fuentes whose careers flourished in the 1960s. They are now in their 70s or late 60s. Still active in this batch are Luz Valdez, Marita Zobel, Perla Bautista, Helen Gamboa, Boots Anson Roa, Pilar Pilapil, Divina Valencia, Liza Lorena and Nova Villa. They now play mostly mother or grandmother roles.

The 1970s were the heydays of Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos, who are now in their 60s. This batch will include actresses in their late 50s and in their 60s who still act, like Lorna Tolentino, Hilda Koronel, Gina Alajar, Gina Pareno, Gloria Diaz, Elizabeth Oropesa, Chanda Romero, Daria Ramirez, Amy Austria, Jaclyn Jose, Cherie Gil, Coney Reyes, Vivian Velez, Rio Locsin. They now play mostly mother roles.

The 1980s saw the rise of Sharon Cuneta, Maricel Soriano and Snooky Serna, who are now in their 50s. The other leading ladies of that decade who remain active up to now are Dawn Zulueta, Gretchen Barretto, Dina Bonnevie, Janice de Belen, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Rita Avila, Alice Dixson, Lani Mercado, Jean Garcia, Jackielou Blanco, Eula Valdes, Melissa Mendez, Sunshine Cruz, Lotlot de Leon. They now also play mother roles. Ai Ai de las Alas belongs to this age bracket but she’s a late bloomer as a comedian and can still play leads on TV and the movies.

The batch of actresses who belong to the 1990s and are now in their 40s or late 30s include Ruffa Gutierrez, Aiko Melendez, Carmina Villaroel, Kris Aquino, Vina Morales, Gelli de Belen, Manilyn Reynes, Sharmaine Arnaiz, Rosanna Roces, Ina Raymundo, Judy Ann Santos, Jolina Magdangal, Claudine Barretto and Regine Velasquez (who’s 46). Most of them now play mother roles to teen stars. Some stars in this batch are even younger but now also play mother roles, like Ara Mina, Sunshine Dizon, Angelu de Leon and Angelika de la Cruz.

Let’s all give a big round of applause to these actresses who have been entertaining us for decades. In the new millennium, the movie industry slackened and the TV networks took over. So these days, our actresses can be divided into Kapamilya or Kapuso stars. Take note that some of them started with one network then jumped ober da bakod seeking greener pastures in another TV station.

The active actresses in the ABS-CBN stables who are in their 20s or early 30s are Bea Alonzo, Angel Locsin, Anne Curtis, Sarah Geronimo, Toni Gonzaga, Angelica Panganiban, Jodi Sta. Maria, Iza Calzado, KC Concepcion, Cristine Reyes, Isabelle Daza, Karylle Yuzon, Kim Chiu, Maja Salvador, Jessy Mendiola, Arci Munoz, Ellen Adarna, Coleen Garcia. Their younger stars include Liza Soberano, Nadine Lustre, Kathryn Bernardo, Julia Montes, Jane Oineza, Sofia Andres.

The GMA-7 actresses in their mid-20s up to early 30s include Marian Rivera, Heart Evangelista, Jennylyn Mercado, Carla Abellana, Lovi Poe, Janine Gutierrez, Solenn Heussaff, Alessandra de Rossi, LJ Reyes, Megan Young, Max Collins, Katrina Halili, Kylie Padilla, Jackie Rice, Andrea Torres, Yasmien Kurdi, Rhian Ramos, Glaiza de Castro. Their younger stars include Barbie Forteza, Maine Mendoza, Bianca Umali, Louise de los Reyes, Joyce Ching, Kim Rodriguez, Bea Binene, Gabbi Garcia, Thea Tolentino.

With TV5, their only remaining resident young stars are Jasmine Curtis Smith and Eula Caballero, after Ritz Azul has decided to become a Kapamilya. They really need to develop more of their homegrown stars if they seriously want to compete in the ratings game.