Dolphy dies at 83

The Philippines' King of Comedy, Dolphy (aka Rodolfo Vera Quizon, Sr.), 83, passed away July 10, 2012, confirms Dolphy's partner Zsa-Zsa Padilla.

He died at 8:34pm.

With his lean physique and humble demeanor, Dolphy’s memorable characters, notably as the down-on-his-luck family man John Puruntong in the long-running sitcom “John and Marsha,” effectively captured the travails of the common Filipino who is able to find humor even in the direst situations.

His children Manny (Manny Boy), Salud (Sahlee), Rodolfo Jr. (Dolphy Jr.), Freddie (Baby), Edgar, and Raul (Rolly) with Engracia (Gracia) Dominguez; Mariquita (Kaye), Carlos, Geraldino (Dino), and Edwin with Gloria Smith; Ronaldo (Ronnie), Enrico (Eric), Madonna (Dana), and Jeffrey (Epi) with Pamela Ponti; Rommel with Evangeline Tugalao; Vandolph with Alma Moreno; and Nicole and Zia with Zsazsa Padilla continue to celebrate his life with friends and fans.

Dolphy starred in more than 200 films in his 66-year career, starting with a 1946 movie at 19 years old with Fernando Poe Sr., "Dugo at Bayan 1 (I Remember Bataan)."

The '80s generation would remember him as John Puruntong of "John en Marsha," probably the most successful local comedy series in the history of Philippine TV. At least 8 film versions of the series were produced.

Today's generation saw him in various other roles -- an actor, a family man, an endorser of products and politicians. At one point when he was being egged to run for president, he told reporters in his characteristic self-depracating humor: "What if I win?"

Among the many roles he effectively portrayed, Dolphy was known for his notable portrayal of gay roles, whether comedy or drama. He starred in Facifica Falayfay (1969), Fefita Fofongay (Viuda de Falayfay) (1973) and Sarhento Fofongay, A…ewan (1974). His last gay role was as Walterina Markova, in the movie Makrova: Comfort Gay (2001). He played the same role with his sons Eric and Jeffrey Quizon, and all won the Prix de la Meilleure Interpretation in Brussels, Belgium for their portrayal.
His last film was Father Jejemon in 2010.

On his 80th birthday in July 25, 2008, a biographical book, Dolphy, Hindi Ko Ito Narating Mag-isa (Dolphy, I Didn't Get Here All By Myself) was launched by ABS-CBN. The book was completed by film director Bibeth Orteza, in the same period that the Dolphy Aid Para sa Pinoy Foundation, Inc., a non-profit and non-stock organization, was also being created.

He received 21 recognitions in his career, but the most recent and special is the Grand Collar of the Order of the Golden Heart, conferred to him by President Benigno Aquino III on November 2010. The award is the highest given to a private citizen by the President of the Philippines.

According to the comedian’s son, Eric Quizon, his father was diagnosed with COPD five years ago. The illness, which hinders the flow of air to the lungs, is generally permanent and may be progressive over time.

Likening COPD to cancer, Quizon said Dolphy's illness has developed into a toxic metabolic encephalopathy, which could lead to sepsis or the poisoning of the blood.

“It’s a progressive disease. Para siyang cancer pero hindi kasing grabe ng cancer. 'Yung body niya, patuloy lang siyang manghihina. It’s like emphysema. Ang ganitong klaseng sakit, five years ago sinabihan na siya na parang stage 4 ang sakit na iyon. In cancer terms, very critical na iyon,” Quizon explained.

Reports of Dolphy’s deteriorating health surfaced in late 2010, triggering numerous rumors about his death. Since then, he had been in and out of the hospital due to respiratory problems. Quizon said Dolphy survived ten bouts with pneumonia before the disease hit him again last June 9.

Yet despite his frail condition, Dolphy still managed to attend the launch concert of his daughter Zia Quizon last year.“Kahit medyo tagilid ako kailangan andito ako, bunso ko yan eh. I wish her all the luck,” he said at the time.

Throughout his battle with his illness, Dolphy maintained his sense of humor until the end, poking fun at the undying rumors about his condition.

“Huwag niyong madaliin; darating din tayo dyan,” he once said.

BURIAL LiveBlog: Goodbye, Comedy King

But on Tuesday, the laughter had finally come to a stop.

REACTIONS: Celebrities and netizens react on Dolphy's death

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