Comedy King Rodolfo “Dolphy” Vera Quizon died on July 10, 2012 after a four year battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He died at the age of 83. A statement from Makati Medical Center revealed the exact cause of his death. “We would like to inform the public that Mr. Rodolfo ‘Dolphy’ Quizon passed away today at 8:43 pm due to multiple organ failure, secondary to complications brought about by severe pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and acute renal failure”.
Following Dolphy’s death, fans and friends of the actor flooded the internet with condolence messages. President Benigno Aquino III also declared July 13, 2012 as “National Day of Remembrance” in honor of Dolphy’s contributions to the Philippine showbiz industry.
Rodolfo Vera Quizon Sr. known by his screen names Dolphy, Pidol and Golay is widely regarded as the country’s King of Comedy for his comedic talent embodied by his long roster of works on stage, radio, television and movies. He was born on July 25, 1928 in Calle Padre Herrera, Tondo Manila. His father was Melencio Quizon, a ship engine worker and his mother, Salud Quizon. He was the second eldest of ten children. He started performing onstage during Japanese occupation. He had his first movie when he was 19 with Fernando Poe Sr. in Dugo at Bayan. In the late 1940s, Dolphy joined the radio program Wag Naman which started his comedy duo with Panchito. Pancho Magalona recommended Dolphy to Dr. Jose Perez, the owner of Sampaguita Pictures in 1952. His first movie in Sampaguita was Sa Isang Sulyap Mo, Tita with Pancho Magalona and Tita Duran. It was also in Sampaguita were the comedy duo of Dolphy and Panchito became popular. Dolphy became famous for playing gay roles after he was type casted in the movie Jack en Jill. This was followed with other movies like Silveria, Captain Barbell and Facifica Falayfay.
After leaving Sampaguita, Eugenio Lopez Sr. got him into television. His first TV show was with ABS-CBN’s Buhay Artista. Dolphy’s biggest achievement was the multi-awarded sitcom John En Marsha with the late Nida Blanca as his wife. John En Marsha was such a hit that movie versions of the show were made eight times and the sitcom ran for 15 successful years. His next successful TV venture after John En Marsha was Home Along Da Riles as Kevin Cosme from 1991 to 2002.
|Dolphy as John Puruntong in the successful sitcom John en Marsha|
In 2001, Dolphy played another gay character, this time with his sons Eric Quizon and Jeffrey Quizon playing the same character at three different stages in life. They all won the Prix de la Meilleure Interpretation in Brussels, Belgium for playing Walterina Markova, a transvestite in the movie Markova: Comfort Gay. In his last movie, Dolphy played a priest in Father Jejemon where he won as Best Actor in the 2010 Metro Manila Film Festival. He also managed to star in one more television show Pidol’s Wonderland for TV5.
President Benigno Aquino III said he believes the Comedy King deserves to be conferred the National Artist award, but since there is temporary restraining order on the granting of National Artist, the Aquino administration gave Dolphy the Grand Collar of the Order of the Golden Heart in 2010.
Apart from being an actor, Dolphy was known for his colorful love life. Dolphy never married and was public with his relationship and family. For more than 20 years, he was with singer, actress Zsa Zsa Padilla. Dolphy said in his biography Dolphy:Hindi Ko Ito Narating Mag-isa, he had 18 children with six women. He considers his kids his pride and joy claiming that he could easily name all seventeen of his biological and one adopted daughter from the oldest to the youngest.
|Dolphy with long time partner Zsa-Zsa Padilla and his children (photo courtesy of pep.com)|