MANILA — Comedian Ate Shawee, known for her impersonation of music icon Sharon Cuneta, passed away on Monday, a family member announced. She was 45.
Ate Shawee, whose real name is Marvin Martinez, died due to liver cirrhosis, according to her niece, Rafaela de Jesus.
De Jesus announced Ate Shawee’s passing through a post on Facebook, where she had also been chronicling the comedian’s condition in the last few months, to call for donations for her hospitalization.
Ate Shawee fell in “bad shape” in late June, when her illness worsened and needed urgent hospitalization, according to de Jesus.
Over the past month, Ate Shawee’s friends and colleagues in the industry had been raising funds through social media, specifically for the comedian’s liver transplant.
In her final days, Ate Shawee held on to her faith, and looked forward to healing, her last few Facebook posts showed.
“Nalulungkot na ako, napanghihinaan ng loob. Iyak ako nang iyak,” Ate Shawee wrote on June 29. “Sana naman kayanin ko lahat ito, Mother of Perpetual Help.”
Throughout her career, Ate Shawee credited her “idol” Cuneta for helping change her life, having earned the latter’s blessing to use her image as a stand-up comedian who also reached TV audiences through various guestings.
They even got to work together numerous times, with the impersonator fronting for the real Cuneta in shows, and at one point sharing a duet.