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‘Kontrabida’ star Zeny Zabala passes away

ZENY Zabala, one of the last few ‘kontrabida’ stars in local cinema, passed away due to kidney failure and other complications last Tuesday. She was 80.

Zabala’s death was confirmed by her daughter Ana Liza Santos who said that her mother died at the National Kidney Institute in Quezon City.

Her remains lie at the Paket Funeral Homes in San Roque, Marikina. She will be cremated at the Loyola Memorial Chapels & Crematorium.

Zabala (Emerenciana Ortiz Santos in real life) was known for her antagonist roles during the 1950s and 1960s.

In the movies, she made lives difficult to leading stars Susan Roces, Rita Gomez, Amalia Fuentes, Barbara Perez, etc.

Previous generations remembered Zabala for her role in “Dance O’ Rama” where she played the rival of Roces for the affection of matinee idol Jose Mari Gonzales, among other films.

The musical-romantic-comedy movie is still being shown on television reruns in various networks.

Zabala got her first acting nomination as Best Supporting Actress for “Ang Bukas ay Akin!” starring Charito Solis and Nestor de Villa in 1964.

Later, she played lead in the films like “Mother Dear,” “Our Lady of Peñafrancia,” “Kalingga,” “Luzviminda,” and “Ruby” where she received her second FAMAS nomination for Best Actress in 1967.

Zabala was last seen in the ABS CBN morning teleserye “Be Careful With My Heart” topbilled by Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap.