MANILA — Following the deaths of Fernando Poe Jr. and Dolphy, Eddie Garcia remained among the last enduring figures in Philippine cinema with a career spanning 70 years.
Garcia, who died Thursday aged 90, had been considered a “king” in the industry, alongside his contemporaries and frequent onscreen collaborators.
The trio was last seen together in 2004, when Garcia and Dolphy campaigned for Poe in his bid as Philippine president.
That same year, in December, Poe passed away after suffering a stroke and slipping into a coma. Dolphy meanwhile died in 2012 due to multiple organ failure.
Former actor and now-Senate President Tito Sotto, in his statement Thursday mourning the death of Garcia, said he was “suddenly reminded of our 2004 campaign.”
“As FPJ was onstage, Manoy Eddie would creep in and make the crowd more jubilant. Ronnie will now see him as he creeps into Heaven and meet his old buddy,” the senator said.
Sen. Grace Poe, the daughter of FPJ and screen veteran Susan Roces, similarly recalling Garcia’s connection with the late film “king.”
“Isa kang mahalagang haligi ng industriya at naging isang tapat at mabuting kaibigan sa aking ama at sa aming pamilya,” Poe said in her statement. “We will miss you dearly. You and your family are in our prayers.”
Garcia’s last starring role on television, fittingly, was “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano,” where he shared the screen with Roces. The ongoing ABS-CBN series is an adaptation of FPJ’s 1997 film of the same title. Garcia’s casting as a villain was also a throwback of sorts to his frequent onscreen rivalry with FPJ.
Dolphy was likewise a regular co-star of Garcia, who had worn several hats, from being an action star to a comedian, aside from being a director.
Dolphy’s son, filmmaker-actor Eric Quizon, referred to Garcia as a “true artist” in an Instagram post showing the two late greats together.
“I have been blessed to have worked with a master,” Quizon said. “We will never see him again but he will always be in our hearts. Goodbye Tito Eddie. Please give my dad a hug.”