MANILA (2nd UPDATE) — Soxie Topacio, one of the most respected directors and actors who left his mark in theater, film and TV, has died, his niece, Zarah, confirmed on Friday night. He was 65.
Zarah said his uncle died because of lung cancer. His family and colleagues at PETA were with him at the hospital, she added.
Topacio was brought to De Los Santos Medical Center Thursday night but had been in and out of the hospital. According to a close colleague, when Topacio was rushed to the center, he was "no longer responsive."
In a statement, the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) described Topacio as one of its “finest artist-teachers whose creativity and artistic skill encompasses the broad range of the performing arts”.
"He was a generous mentor and was an inspiration to many young artists. Soxie was well-loved by all in the company given his generosity with his time, leadership and artistic talent. He will be deeply missed by his PETA family," it said.
Socrates Hernandez Topacio will be remembered for his invaluable contribution and lifelong work at PETA where he directed numerous productions.
He also starred in films such as "Mag-toning Muna Tayo," "Ispiritista: Itay, May Moomoo!" and "Bwakaw." He also spearheaded the theater adaptation of Lino Brocka's acclaimed film "Bona."
One of his latest projects was the highly acclaimed drama-comedy film "Ded na si Lolo," selected as the Philippine entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 82nd Academy Awards in 2010.
Topacio's friends took to social media to express their grief.
-- With report from MJ Felipe, ABS-CBN News