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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.

Jun 10, 2020


ANITA LINDA in her prime

LET’S OFFER a prayer for one of the country’s best actresses, Anita Linda, whose real name is Alice Lake.

We got the privilege to interview her in the late 70s for the Philippines Daily Express and she was elated when we told her she’s one of the actresses whose films we remember seeing as a child in the 50s.

We told her we saw her in the movies where she played a tomboyish lead character, like “Siga-Siga”. “Porbida Gid” and “Basagulera”, which she made for Premiere Productions.

But it was the late National Artist Bert Avellana who discovered her doing vaudeville stage shows and took her to LVN Pictures where she made her first movie before the Second World War. After the war, she made movies with Premiere and other independent companies.

She won her first best actress award playing the title role of Jose Rizal’s “Sisa” in 1951, which has an existing copy. It was directed by Natonal Artist Gerry de Leon and she told us that at the time they shot it, she had no idea it would turn out to be a classic.

“May mga ipinagagawa siya sa’king hindi ko maintindihan, pero nang mapanood ko na sa screen, gulat na gulat ako kasi ang ganda pala lumabas,” she recalled.

She’d later do another costume film for Gerry de Leon, “Ang Sawa sa Lumang Simboryo”, with Jose Padilla Jr. and she got nominated again as best actress.

Through the years, she has won various other awards for films like the late Lino Brocka’s “Isa, Dalawa,Tatlo” as the mother of Hilda Koronel, “Babae sa Bubungang Lata” directed by the late Mario O’Hara, William Pascual’s “Takaw Tukso” and Adolf Alix’ “Adela.”

She’s one actress who never retired and continued to act in films and teleseryes for different networks. like “Anna Liza”, “Mara Clara”, “Pangako Sa’Yo”, “Glamorosa” and “Indio”. 

When she was 88 years old, she was reported to have died but she was then just vacationing in California with her son Fred Cortez, Jr., who also tried acting in the movie “Alyas Blue Boy”.

When she returned home, she did the movie “Mater Dolorosa” for Director Adolf Alix to prove that she’s still alive and kicking. She served the local film industry for almost 8 decades. But now, she has indeed passed away due to heart failure and let’s all pray for the eternal repose of her soul.