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Girl in a jacket

Ronaldo Valdez’s memorable roles in his nearly six-decade-long career

On December 18, the entire country mourned the passing of the veteran and legendary actor Ronaldo Valdez. The sad news was confirmed by the Quezon City Police and by his son Janno Gibbs through an Instagram post.

As his family and the entire entertainment industry grieve, let’s take a moment to remember some of his great works as an artist that demonstrated his skills and commitment to the craft.

Tatay canor (Labs kita…Okey lang?, 1998)

 tatay kanor

His role as a loving father and husband as Canor in the rom-com, “Labs kita… Okey Lang ba?”—written by Ricky Lee and starring Jolina Magdangal and Marvin Agustin—brought a tragic and empathetic layer to the movie as a frustrated yet talented musician. Valdez’s acting brought the endearing quality of a father who loved his passion but willingly gave up his dream of music to love his wife, played by the legendary Gina Pareño as Cora. Even though he developed a destructive coping mechanism through alcoholism, Canor still allowed his son, played by Agustin, to pursue the passion that he cultivated in his family.

Cenon Fernandez (May Minamahal, 1993)

May Minamahal

This role earned Valdez an Urian, FAMAS (Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences Awards), Luna, and PMPC Star Awards. The veteran played Cenon Fernandez, the widowed father of Aiko Melendez who plays one of the main protagonists in the movie. He settled well in his supporting role as the father of Monica and created a stern but caring single father of three.

Dora/Adorable (May Daga sa labas ng Lungga, 1984)

Dora/Adorable (May Daga sa labas ng Lungga, 1984)

One of his earlier roles showcased his versatility as an actor, particularly in the 80s when many social taboos and their stereotypes were still prevalent and stigmatized by the general public. Although this role relied on those stereotypes to convey the idea—such as his flirty interactions with men and effeminate personality—he portrayed the role with wit and dignity. He engaged in intelligent responses during interactions with other characters, especially when faced with degrading remarks about his character because of being gay.

Sebastian “Hugo” Agcaoili or Lolo Sir (2 Good 2 Be True, 2022)

Sebastian "Hugo" Agcaoili or Lolo Sir (2 Good 2 Be True, 2022)

One of his last roles as an actor and one of his most endearing ones as well. Playing the ailing Sebastian “Hugo” Agcaoili, he suffers from Alzheimer’s all the while guarding his billion-peso company from being taken from him, which people thought would be an easy task to do due to his illness. His friendly and gentle nature in the role endeared him to audiences and co-stars, particularly Kathryn Bernardo, who played his home nurse and friend in the series.

Cesar Moreno (Ronquillo: Tubong Cavite, Laking Tondo, 1993)

Cesar Moreno (Ronquillo: Tubong Cavite, Laking Tondo

One of his most action-packed and villainous roles; playing Cesar Moreno the father of the Gardo who murdered Adan’s (Bong Revilla, Jr.) father. Though the movie falls in the action genre, his portrayal of Cesar caught in a cycle of vengeance propagated by violence was still a stand-out for his work. Especially, as the eighties were saturated with these kinds of films, in every studio.

Colonel Sanders Philippines (KFC Advertisement 2017)

Colonel Sanders Philippines (KFC Advertisement 2017)

Along with other veteran actors Leo Martinez and Pen Medina, Valdez was also remembered for this hilarious and iconic advertisement from KFC Philippines. Many fans of the brand and the actor saw the uncanny resemblance he had with the original owner of KFC, Colonel Sanders, so they took it and ran with it. In 2017, they produced the original “casting video” with him and 2 other actors, making takes to emulate the Colonel, but Valdez was the one who took the role and truly upheld the brand’s franchise here for many years.

Earl of Dorincourt (Cedie: Ang Munting Prinsipe, 1996)

Earl of Dorincourt (Cedie: Ang Munting Prinsipe, 1996)

Playing the estranged grandfather and British Earl in the nostalgic film Cedie, Valdez’ take on the old British Noble had an amazingly elegant and regal take on the Little Lord Fauntleroy anime. His character, though somewhat unaware of the challenges faced by his workers, was kind. He showed empathy, especially when his grandson returned to Dorincourt Castle. While not seen on screen as often as some co-stars, he consistently portrayed the role of the master of the house, emphasizing his noble status.

Frederico “Rico” Torres Sr. (The Mistress, 2012)

Frederico "Rico" Torres Sr. (The Mistress, 2012)

Valdez added complexity to his roles as he portrayed the aging CEO and father to the protagonist JD (played by actor John Lloyd Cruz). Coincidentally, he becomes a love rival against his son for the affection of Sari (played by Bea Alonzo). Delving deep into melodrama and embracing it fully, his role as the cheating husband and tired businessman intensified the angst and drama of the love story between Sari and JD.

Capt. Manuel Bonifacio (Seven Sundays, 2017)

Capt. Manuel Bonifacio (Seven Sundays, 2017)

In this movie, the beloved actor portrayed a barangay captain, thinking it might be his last weeks on Earth. As Manuel, his character reflected on regrets and family during his final days. Feeling the ticking clock, he called his children to spend time together. However, as family tensions rise due to years of resentment, we see his slow realization of his role in creating that resentment.


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