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Movie queens of the ’50s

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NOSTALGIA – A few issues back, Highspeed dwelt on one of the drama greats of the ’50s and beyond: Lolita Rodriguez.

The ’50s were the second golden years of Philippines cinema. Think of such great directors as Bert Avellana, Gerry de Leon, Eddie Romero, Manuel Conde, all later named National Artists.

Great producers like Dr. Jose R. Perez (Sampaguita), Atty. Manny de Leon (LVN), and Cirio H. Santiago (Premiere).

And great actors like Mario Montenegro, Roger de la Rosa, Pempe Padilla, Pol Salcedo, Carmen Rosales, Rosa del Rosario, Charito Solis, Anita Linda, Paraluman, Delia Razon, Rita Gomez, and Lolita Rodriguez as earlier mentioned.

MOVIE QUEENS – And, of course, the two movie queens of the golden ’50s: Gloria Romero and Nida Blanca.

Miss Romero, the most regal of all movie queens, is still active. Miss Blanca shines in another world.

Both are American mestizas. Glo’s mother was American (Mary Borego), while Nida’s father was mestizo. She is Dorothy Jones offcam.

Early in their careers, they won acting awards. Gloria FAMAS best actress for “Dalagang Ilocana” (1954) and Nida FAMAS best supporting actress for “Korea” (1952).

They won other awards late in their glorious careers, which include radio and television.

OUTSTANDING – Highspeed recalls the outstanding films and performances of the two movie queens.

Glo topbilled “Tanging Yaman” as the woman suffering from Alzheimer’s, supported by big stars like Joel Torre, Dina Bonnevie, Edu Manzano, Johnny Delgado, Jericho Rosales, Hilda Koronel. Directed by Laurice Guillen.

Her other fine films include “Condemned,” “Kapag Langit ang Humatol,” “Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-ibig?” “Nagbabagang Luha.”

Nida’s biggest movie during her senior years was “Miguelito,” as the mother of Aga Muhlach in the title role.

Directed by Lino Brocka.

Her other fine films: “Kid, Huwag Kang Susuko,” “My Heart Belongs to Daddy,” “Forgive and Forget,” “Magdusa Ka.”

Despite the supposed rivalry, Gloria and Nida remain good friends and co-stars to the very end. When Nida died, Gloria was dubbing a movie. She couldn’t continue and had to take the day off, mourning her friend’s tragic end.

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