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Top actors of the ’30s and ’40s

BLACK & WHITE – Readers note that Highspeed writes mostly about movie queens, “neglecting” their partners. Agree. Very well then, Highspeed will concentrate on actors this week. Let’s start with the top actors of the ‘30s and ‘40s.

Then there were Black & White Kings, Leopoldo “Pol” Salcedo of Cavite and Rogelio “Roger” de la Rosa of Pampanga.

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Their complexions “gave away” their royal titles.

Also in their league were Jose “Pempe” Padilla and Fernando “Nanding” Poe Sr.

The other top actors: Ely Ramos, Rudy Concepcion, Angel Esmeralda.

The movie queens of the era (pre-war and post-war) were Rosa del Rosario and Carmen Rosales. They were the favorite leading ladies of Pol, Roger, Pempe, and Nanding.

The other popular actresses: Elsa Oria, Rosario Moreno, Yolanda Marquez, Lucita Goyena, Corazon Noble, Norma Blancaflor.

MOST DURABLE – One of the top actors of the ‘30s and ‘40s,Pol, proved to be the most durable. He was still acting in the ‘80s….and winning awards.

Roger bowed out of the showbiz in the mid-50s to run successfully for the Senate and then served as ambassador. He was Asia’s best actor for “Higit sa Lahat.”

Nanding died in the early ‘50s, leaving behind films he produced, directed, and starred in. He produced and directed the first “Darna,” topbilled by Rosa del Rosario his leading lady in the South Sea classic of the ‘30s, “Zamboanga,” a good copy of which still exists.

Pempe died in the ‘70s. He has two best actor trophies: Maria Clara for “Diego Silang” and FAMAS for “Huk sa Bagong Pamumuhay.”

FAMILIAR – To date, their names remain familiar… thanks to kin who are still in showbiz.

Fernando Poe Jr. is gone but he remains forever in the hearts and minds of Filipinos, King and National Artist… voted as President but cheated of victory.

Padillas are all over showbiz. Think Robin, Daniel, Zsa Zsa, Gino.

Pol and Roger have no showbiz kin to speak of these days. But Pol had a son, Edgar, who belonged to Sampaguita’s Stars ‘66. Roger had a popular actor-brother, Jaime de la Rosa.

The late great actor Jay Ilagan was the son of Angel Esmeralda and Corazon Noble. Angel was the brother of Gerardo de Leon and Tito Arevalo.

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