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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.

May 3, 2017

Romeo Vasquez, 50s Matinee Idol And Winner Of Asian Best Actor Award, Passes Away In The U.S.

FORMER matinee idol Romeo Vasquez (Roberto Sumilang in real life) passed away in Los Angeles, California yesterday, May 2) due to cardiac arrest. He would have been 78 years old this coming May 6.

He was discovered by the late director, Armando Garces, while playing basketball in San Juan. Garces brought him to Sampaguita Pictures where he was introduced in the 1956 movies, "Lydia" with Carmen Rosales in the title role and "Miss Tilapia", with Gloria Romero in the title role.

He was launched the next year in "Pretty Boy", pairing him with Amalia Fuentes. Their romance bloomed even off cam and they got married, with one daughter, the late Liezl Sumilang. They did many movies together for Sampaguita, like "Sino ang Maysala", "Bobby", "Mga Reyna ng Vicks".They also did the blockbuster hit "Ako'y Iyong-Iyo" for Tagalog Ilang-Ilang, which also produced their memorable films "Sa Muling Pagkikita" and "Kung Kita'y Kapiling".

They eventually separated and Bobby went to the U.S. When he returned, he did "Puede Ako, Puede Ka Pa Ba" with Amalia and it was a blockbuster. He was linked to other actresses, notably with Vilma Santos when they did "Nag-aapoy na Damdamin". He also romanced Alona Alegre.

He was also paired with Susan Roces and their biggest hit together was Lea Productions' "Maruja". He was also paired with Barbara Perez in "Dugo sa Aking Kamay" and with Liberty Ilagan in "Kilabot sa Makiling". In 1958, he won the Asian best actor award for "Ako ang Maysala". The last movie he made was in 1994, "The Vizconde Massacre", where he played Lauro Vizconde.