Mildred Ortega, '70s star, host and general’s wife, dies at 68

Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 09 2021 11:19 AM | Updated as of Apr 09 2021 11:40 AM

Mildred Ortega, '70s star, host and general’s wife, dies at 68 1

MANILA -- Former TV host and singer-actress Mildred Ortega died Thursday aged 68 due to stroke complications. 

“Mildred died after being comatose for 27 days, at 1:38 a.m. yesterday,” retired General Mitch Templo, Ortega’s husband, told ABS-CBN News Friday. 

She was cremated Friday dawn at Funeraria Paz in Quezon City.

Pending final funeral arrangements, Templo said Ortega’s remains will be at their home in Acropolis, Quezon City. 

With her lovely face, Ortega rode on the crest of popularity of the teen stars of the late 1960s and early 1970s together with Nora Aunor, Vilma Santos, Tirso Cruz III, and Hilda Koronel, among others. 

Aside from movies like “Teenage Escapades” with Aunor and Cruz, “Santiago” with Fernando Poe Jr,. “Happy Hippie Holiday,” “Super Girl” and “Haydee,” Ortega distinguished herself as a recording star with a fine voice who did albums for Villar Records and other music companies. 

Ortega embraced her life as the wife of a military official beginning in the mid-'70s. She later hosted the charity program “Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko” for many years, injecting her singing talent to help raise funds for the underprivileged. 

Sharing his heartbreaking loss, the 82-year-old Templo said he is still at a loss at Ortega’s passing. 

“I am still stunned. Things happened so fast and I was not even able to see her to say goodbye,” he said, recalling the evening of March 14 when he discovered his wife at their comfort room while they were preparing for dinner. 

“Nakalugmok na siya and breathing heavily. I rushed her to the hospital, the next day she had brain surgery. She was comatose after that until she expired.” 

Templo also recalled how Ortega overcame a bad fall in 2019 where she sustained a hipbone. “Nilagyan siya ng metal brace, and you know what a strong willed woman she is. After a few weeks, she was able to walk,” he said. 

The only downside, he disclosed, was she had indications she had a mild stroke before the brace procedure. 

Aside from Templo, Ortega left behind her two sons, John and lawyer and former news host Mike Templo and three grandchildren. 

“Mildred was a very simple woman and she was always with me. Wala din kaming kasama talaga sa bahay. Kami lang. Sabi niya, kaya natin ‘to!” Templo said, also citing Ortega’s unfading beauty. 

“All my life I never saw her go to a parlor. She was the one who did her own makeup. Napakabait niya, I am going to miss her terribly!”