Pinoys who made it in Hollywood

by Boy Villasanta,

Posted at Jun 23 2010 10:52 AM | Updated as of Jun 23 2010 08:40 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Filipino film artists making it in Hollywood isn’t a new conquest among us when the so-called Second Father of Philippine Movies, Vicente Salumbides, worked as extra at the Famous Players Lasky Studio after the First World War while studying writing, acting and directing.

After Salumbides, a lot of Filipinos were given breaks in Hollywood not only as actors but writers, technicians and directors as well. Among them were National Artist for Film Eddie Romero, who wrote many Hollywood co-production ventures, and Cirio H. Santiago, scion of the Santiagos of Premiere Productions, who wrote, directed and produced films in Hollywood.

In 1962, actress Barbara Perez was chosen to lead the Hollywood war movie “No Man Is an Island,” with famous actor Jeffrey Hunter.

Erstwhile sexy thespian Tetchie Agbayani, after her stint as a Playboy magazine model, had starred in a few Hollywood fares, some of them major distributions.

Lotis Key, Dolphy’s former sweetheart, was given meaty roles in such productions as “Untamed Heart” with Marisa Tomei and Christian Slater, and “Sweet Revenge” with Nancy Allen.

Ex-child star Robin Aristorenas, eldest son of the late action star Jun Aristorenas, according to his younger brother Ryan Aristorenas, an active actor in Filipino movies, is making waves as editor and graphic artist in most major Hollywood films these days.

Pinoys who made it in Hollywood 1


Before Lea Salonga and Charice won the hearts of many people around the globe, there were Phoebe Cates, although mix Filipina and American blood, whose descent is Chinese-Filipino on her maternal grandfather, and Tia Carere, also Fil-Am.

International singer Enrique Iglesias is the son of famous balladeer Julio Iglesias and Filipino socialite Isabel Presyler.

Nowadays, Filipinos are sharing limelight with their foreign counterparts in Hollywood like Lou Diamond Phillips, who has been starring in many action and drama movies.

Phillips was born in Subic Bay US Naval Station in Zambales Province in the Philippines to Gerald Cornhulio, a naval officer, and Lucita Aranas of Candelaria, Zambales.

Did you know that American actor Richard Gere was also born and raised in Subic?

Comic Rob Schneider, of the Deuce Bigalow series, is also a certified Filipino American actor whose mom is a Filipina, Pilar Monroe.

Hunk and pretty boy Paolo Montalban, who was acclaimed in the film “Mortal Kombat: Conquest,” with Daniel Bernhardt and Kristann Loken, is a pure Filipino.

Action star Mark Dacascos, whose filmography includes “Kickboxer 5,” “The Crow: Stairway to Heaven,” “American Samurai” and other death-defying films, is of Filipino ancestry.

Female singer Jocelyn Enriquez is a pure Filipina who has been famous in American music.

Allan Pineda Lindo, known by his stage name, the noted member of The Black-Eyed Peas band, is from Pampanga, Philippines.

Controversial band soloist Arnel Pineda, whose international music career was ushered in by his Youtube clips, was a member of the world renowned singing group, "Journey."

Vanessa Hudgens, who made a name in “High School Musical,” has Filipino blood ditto with Nicole Scherzinger of the famous all-sexy female group "Pussycat Dolls."

Youthful-looking Dante Basco, a full-blooded Filipino but who grew up in the United States, considered a Fil-Am actor, has been a sought after Hollywood player with such hits as “Hook” with Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffmann, “Take the Lead” with Antonio Banderas, and many more.

There are still many unheralded Filipino film artists in Hollywood who are important players in its entertainment industry and our pride in the process. -Report by Boy Villasanta,