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Fernándo Poe, Jr.
Born Ronald Allan Kelley Poe
August 20, 1939
Manila, Philippines
Died December 14, 2004 (aged 65)
Quezon City, Philippines
Other name(s) Ronwaldo Reyes
Da King
Spouse(s) Susan Roces

Ronald Allan Kelley Poe (August 20, 1939 – December 14, 2004), better known as Fernándo Poe, Jr. and colloquially known as FPJ and Da King, was a Filipino actor and cultural icon. He was honored on May 24, 2006 as Philippine National Artist through Philippine Proclamation No. 1065.[1] From the 1950s, Poe played steadfast film heroes who fight for the common man, which won him respect and admiration. He did not complete high school but went on to win numerous awards and prizes as an actor and film director. During the latter part of his career, he ran an unsuccessful bid for President of the Philippines in the 2004 presidential elections against the incumbent Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.


Early life

Ronald Allan K. Poe was born on August 20, 1939 in Manila, Philippines, of Spanish, Kapampangan, and Irish-American extraction, the son of actor-producer-director Fernando Poe, Sr. of San Carlos City, Pangasinan (1916-1951) and Elizabeth Gatbonton Kelley (1918-1999) of Candaba, Pampanga. [2] His mother, Bessie Kelley, was an American and sometimes called Elizabeth Kelley in some sources especially in Philippine press.[3][4][5] His mother's parents, Arthur Kelley (WWI Army Corp of Engineer from Iowa, USA) was an Irish American who settled in the Philippines and Martha Gatbonton, a Filipina of mixed Kapampangan and Spanish heritage. Poe Jr.'s parents were not legally married yet when he was born in 1939. His parents later married in 1940.[6] He was the second of six siblings, born after Elizabeth and before Fernando II (Andy), Genevieve (Jenny), Fredrick (Freddieboy), and Evangeline. His name at birth was Ronald Allan Kelley Poe; his brother Andy was the legal Fernando Poe Jr.

Actor Conrad Poe was his half-brother, the illegitimate son of Fernando Poe, Sr. by actress Patricia Mijares.[7] The original family surname was spelled Pou from his grandfather, playwright Lorenzo Pou, a Catalan migrant from Majorca, Spain, who ventured into mining and business in the Philippines.[7] As his father was a famous actor, Poe had small parts in several movies of the 1940s. However, Fernando Poe, Sr. died in 1951 after a rabid puppy licked his wounds. Poe finished primary education in 1953 at San Beda College. For high school, he went to San Sebastian College, Mapua Institute of Technology, and University of the East.[8] After the death of his father, he dropped out of the University of the East in his sophomore year in order to work to support his family. He worked odd jobs, including as a cleaner, a messenger boy and a stuntman, before becoming a full-time actor. He then adopted the screen name Fernando Poe, Jr..[8][9]

Acting career

Poe dropped out of high school to work in the Filipino film industry as a messenger boy, and was given acting roles in subsequent years.[8] Starting as a stuntman for Everlasting Pictures, he was given a break and landed his first starring role in the movie Anak ni Palaris (Son of Palaris) at the age of 14. The movie was not a big hit. In 1957, the movie Lo Waist Gang made him popular,[8] and the film was such a big hit that low-waist pants became a fad.

Known also as FPJ from his initials, Poe acted in a number of movies which depicted him as the champion of the poor and downtrodden. He also directed nine movies, under the pseudonym Ronwaldo Reyes. Reyes originated from the surname of his paternal grandmother, Martha.

He established FPJ productions in 1961 and later organized other film companies such as D'Lanor, JAFERE, and Rosas Productions. In 1963, he and Joseph Estrada testified against criminal gangs, known as the Big Four, who extorted money from the film industry.[10] In 1965, he shared the lead in The Ravagers, a film depicting the United States and the Philippines working together against Japanese war time occupation. The film is considered one of the most influential Filipino films, and it helped establish Fernando Poe, Jr.'s status as a movie icon.

Poe became an award-winning actor and garnered the most best actor awards at the FAMAS. Among the movies that received awards were Mga Alabok ng Lupa (1967), Asedillo (1971), Durugin si Totoy Bato, Umpisahan Mo, Tatapusin Ko (1983), and Muslim Magnum .357 (1987).[11]

Poe was dubbed as the "Da King" of Philippine movies because of his box office hits. He made over 200 films in his lifetime and ran a successful movie production firm. Among his famous movies include playing Flavio in the mythical Ang Panday series, Kahit Konting Pagtingin, Dito sa Pitong Gatang and Aguila. His last movie was Pakners which also stars 9-ball billiards champion Efren "Bata" Reyes.

Presidential bid

Fernando Poe Jr., was the Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KNP)'s candidate for the 2004 presidential election. A public figure in his movie career and known for his charitable but unpublicized endeavours, he targeted his candidacy at the same poor whom he championed in his movies.

Poe accepted the nomination in December 2003 and was to be the standard opposition bearer for the Philippines' 2004 presidential election.[12] Some accounts portray him as a reluctant candidate who was only prevailed upon to accept the nomination by his best friend, former President Joseph Estrada. But other accounts say he was convinced to cast his bid for the presidency because of the overwhelming crowd that gathered for the first rally of the FPJ for President Movement at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

Personal life

He is the best friend of the former President and actor Erap Estrada. Poe married actress Susan Roces, Jesusa Sonora in real life, in December, 1968. This was a civil wedding, but they were later married in a church and among their primary sponsors were then President Ferdinand Marcos and First Lady Imelda Marcos. Mary Grace was their only child, an adopted one.

Although a famous public figure, Poe had been very reclusive about his personal life. However, in February, 2004, during the presidential campaign, Poe admitted to having sired children out of wedlock. Ronian, or Ron Allan, was Poe's son by former actress Anna Marin, and Lovi, a daughter by former actress Rowena Moran.

Death and legacy

FPJ's death as reported in the Philippine Daily Inquirer issue

Poe was admitted to Saint Luke's Medical Center in Quezon City on the evening of December 11, 2004 after complaining of dizziness at a gathering in his production studio premise.[13] He suffered from a stroke and slipped into a coma while being treated for a brain clot. Doctors described his condition as a cerebral thrombosis with multiple organ failure.[14] He died at the age of 65 on December 14 at 12:01 am, without regaining consciousness.[14] Friends and allies from the movie and political worlds were at his bedside. He left behind his wife actress Susan Roces and daughter, Mary Grace, along with his other children, son, Ronian, and daughter, Lovi.

The nine day wake was attended by hundreds of thousands, with organizers claiming numbers as high as two million.[15] The funeral procession drew tens of thousands who crowded the streets of Quezon City, an event that was reminiscent of the funeral processions of Ninoy Aquino in 1983 and matinee idol Julie Vega in 1985. He was buried in his family plot along with his father and mother in North Cemetery, Manila, Philippines.

3rd Death Anniversary

Poe's funeral procession

On December 14, 2007, Susan Roces led 3rd death anniversary rites by a Mass visit to the cemetery in simple rites for husband Fernando Poe Jr. "Dear uncle Ronnie, I love you, I miss you" small Christmas cards were placed near flowers on Poe's tomb. [16]

FPJ Library

On September 29, 2007, ABS-CBN acquired the exclusive rights to the whole movie library of the late Fernando Poe, Jr., after Susan Roces signed the contract. ABS-CBN Chairman Eugenio Lopez III, Cory Vidanes, Senior Vice President of TVP Production, and Poe’s daughter Grace Poe-Llamanzares were present. [17]

Alay ni Da King: An FPJ Special

On December 23, 2007, 9:30 p.m. Alay ni Da King: a Fernando Poe, Jr. Special was shown in ABS-CBN Channel 2 and was hosted Head Charo Santos-Concio. Susan Roces contributed on the feature of their life journey. In 3 parts, FPJ, "The Artist" was hosted by Vilma Santos, FPJ, "Ang Kaibigan" (The Friend), by Christopher de Leon and FPJ, Ang Idolo, by Boots Anson-Roa. A 38-minute music video was shown featuring various scenes from several FPJ's movies, a project that he just finished working on before he died.[18]

In popular culture

  • Aside from being the most popular, FPJ is arguably considered the most influential Filipino actor of all-time.
  • Fernando Poe Jr. inspired a generation of television and movie impersonators, both serious and comedic. His iconic movie role as the 'Pinoy Robin Hood' and 'People's Champion' in most of his films have repeatedly been clichéd by Filipino action films for years to come.
  • TV host-comedian Joey De Leon parodied FPJ and his iconic film persona (most notably the character of Flavio in "Ang Panday") in many cameo and starring roles. In the comedy-hit movie "She-Man, Mistress of the Universe", FPJ himself appeared in character (as Flavio) and made a memorable cameo appearance to rescue "Pandoy" (De Leon's character name) against his enemies. Ironically, De Leon in his Starzan Character from the film of the same name made a cameo appearance in FPJ's film Minsan May isang taxi Driver asking the latter to take him to the forest
  • Sideburns in the Philippines are often referred to as "FPJ's".
  • In fist-fighting in movies, a series of rapid punches to the midsection immediately followed by double open-palm strikes to the ears ("Pompyang" in Filipino) is an FPJ trademark.

Selected filmography

  • Pakners [Partners] (2003)
  • Ang Alamát ng Láwin [Legend of the Hawk] (2002)
  • Batas ng Lansángan [Law Of The Streets] (2002)
  • Ayos na ang Kasunod (What's Next is Done) (2000)
  • Ang Dalubhasa [The Expert] (2000)
  • Isúsumbong kita sa Tatay ko (1999)
  • Págbabalik ng probinsiyano [The Return of the Province Boy] (1998)
  • Eseng ng Tondo [Eseng of Tondo] (1998)
  • Ang Probinsyano [The Province Boy] (1997)
  • Ikaw Ang Mahal Ko [You're the One I Love] (1996)
  • Hagedorn (1995)
  • Ang Syota Kong Balikbáyan (1995)
  • Gising na...Ang Higánteng Natutúlog [Awaken... The Sleeping Giant] (1995)
  • Kahit Bútas ng Karayom, Papasúkin Ko! (1995)
  • Minsan Pa (Kahit Konting Pagtingin 2) (1995)
  • Walang Matigas na Tinápay sa Mainit na Kape (1994)
  • The Epimaco Velasco Story: NBI (1994)
  • Hindi Pa Tapos Ang Lában [The Fight Is Not Yet Over] (1994)
  • Parañaque Bank Robbery: The Joselito Joseco Story (1993)
  • Alyás Lakay [a.k.a. Lakay] (1992)
  • Isang Bala Ka Lang (Part 2) [You're Just One Bullet (Part 2)] (1992)(FPJ Productions)
  • Dito sa Pitong Gatang [Here In "Pitong Gatang"] (1992)
  • Mabuting Kaibigan...Masamang Kaaway [Good Friend, Worse Enemy] (1991) (Tagalog Ilang-Ilang Productions)
  • Sigaw ng Digmaan 2: Ang Pagbabalik [War Cry II: The Return] (1991)
  • Batas Ng 45 [Law of 45] (1991)
  • Hindi Ka Na Sisikatan Ng Araw (Kapag Puno na ang Salop Part III)(You wont see the sun rise: When enough is enough) (1990)
  • Kahit Konting Pagtingin [Just a Little Glimpse] (1990)
  • May Isang Tsuper ng Taxi [Once there was a cab driver] (1990)
  • Baril Sa Baril 2: Ang Pagbabalik (1989)
  • Ako Ang Húhusga (Kapag Punô na ang Salop Part II) (1989)
  • Wanted: Pamilya Banal [Wanted: Banal Family] (1989)
  • Agila Ng Maynila [Eagle Of Manila] (1989)
  • Gawa Na Ang Bala Na Papatay Sa Yo [The Bullet That Will Kill You Has Been Made] (1988)
  • One Day, Isang Araw (1988)
  • Batás sa Aking Kamay [The Law in My Hands] (1987)
  • Kapag Puno na ang Salop [If the Ganta is Full] (1987)
  • Muslim Magnum 357 (1986)
  • Iyo ang Tondo, Kanya ang Cavite (Tondo Is Yours, Cavite Is His) (1986)
  • Batang Quiapo [Quiapo Boy] (1986)
  • Kapag lumaban ang api (When the Downtrodden Fight) (1986)
  • Partida (1985)
  • Isa-Isa Lang (1985)
  • Ang Padrino [The Godfather] (1985)
  • Daáng Hari (1984)
  • Sierra Madre (1984)
  • Sigaw ng Katarungan [Cry for Justice] [(1984)
  • Panday, Ikaapat na Aklat [The Blacksmith, Fourth Book] (1984)
  • Isang Bala Ka Lang [You're Just One Bullet] (1983)
  • Roman Rapido (1983)
  • Umpisahan Mo, Tatapusin Ko [Start It, I'll Finish It] (1983)
  • Panday, Ang Ikatlong Yugto [The Blacksmith, Part 3] (1982)
  • Daniel Bartolo ng Sapang Bato [Daniel Bartolo of Stone Stream] (1982)
  • Kalibre .45 [Caliber .45] (1982)
  • Kumander (My the Manager] (1982)
  • Ang Pagbabalik ng Panday [The Return of the Blacksmith] (1982)
  • Bandido sa Sapang Bato [Bandits in Sapang Bato] (1981)
  • Ang Maestro [The Master] (1981)
  • Aguila [Eagle] (1980)
  • Ang Lihim ng Guadalupe [The Secret of Guadalupe] (1980)
  • Ang Agila at ang Falcon [The Eagle and the Falcon] (1980)
  • Mahal, Ginabi Ka Na Naman [Love, You Came Home Late Again] (1980)
  • Durugin si Totoy Bato [Crush Totoy Bato] (1979)
  • Mahal...Saan Ka Nanggaling Kagabi? [Love, Where have you been Last Night?] (1979)
  • At Muling Nagbaga ang Lupa (1979)
  • Isa Para Sa Lahat, Lahat Para Sa Isa [One For All, All For One] (1979)
  • Tatak ng Tundo [Seal Of Tondo] (1978)
  • Mga Mata ni Anghelita [Angelita's Eyes] (1978)
  • Patayin si Mediavillo [Kill Mediavillo] (1978)
  • Kumander Ulupong [Commander Ulupong] (1978)
  • Ang Lalaki, Ang Alamat, at Ang Baril [The Man, The Legend, and the Gun] (1978)
  • It Happened One Night (1978)
  • King (1978)
  • Ang Panday [The Blacksmith] (1978)
  • Little Christmas Tree (1977)
  • Bontoc (1977)
  • Totoy Bato (1977)
  • Tutubing Kalabaw, Tutubing Karayom (Dragonflies) (1977)
  • Bato sa Buhangin [Rocks in the Sand] (1976)
  • Ang Leon at Ang Daga [The Lion and The Mouse] (1975)
  • Happy Days are Here Again (1975)
  • Batya't Palo Palo (1974)
  • Esteban (1973)
  • Ang Alamat [The Legend] (1972)
  • Magiting at Pusakal (Brave and Horrible) (1972)
  • Salaginto't Salagubang (1972)
  • Sto. Domingo (1972)
  • Asedillo (1971)
  • Divina Garcia (1970)
  • Santiago (1970)
  • Perlas ng Silangan [Pearl of the Orient] (1969)
  • Alyas 1 2 3 (1968)
  • Barbaro Cristobal (1968)
  • Baril at Rosario [Gun and Rosary](1968)
  • Ang Dayuhan [The Foreigner] (1968)
  • Dos Por Dos [Two by Two](1968)
  • Ang Mangliligpit (The Bounty Hunter)(1968)
  • Magpakailan man [Forever] (1968)
  • Ang Pagbabalik ni Daniel Barrion (The Return of Daniel Barrion) (1968)
  • Sorrento (1968)
  • Tatlong Hari [Three Kings] (1968)
  • Tanging Ikaw [Only You] (1968)
  • To Susan With Love (1968)
  • Mga Alabok sa Lupa [Dusts in Land] (1967)
  • The Ravagers (1965)
  • Mano Mano [One on One] (1964)
  • Intramuros (1964)
  • Sigaw ng digmaan [War Cry] (1963)
  • Kapag Puno na ang Salop (1962)
  • Baril sa Baril [Gun to Gun] (1961)
  • Markado [Marked] (1960)
  • Anak ng Bulkan [Child of the Volcano] (1959)
  1. Big Time Berto (1959)- Cameo role
  2. Tough Guy (1959)
  3. Hawaiian Boy (1959)
  4. Eva Dragon (1959)
  5. Duke De Borgona (1959)
  6. Rolling Rockers (1959)
  7. Bon Voyage (1958)
  8. Laban sa Lahat (1958)
  9. Lo’ Waist Gang at Og sa Mindoro (1958)
  10. Atrebida (1958)
  11. Obra Maestra (1958)
  12. May Pasikat Ba sa Kano? (1958)
  13. Pepeng Kaliwete (1958)
  14. Lutong Makaw (1958)
  15. Student Canteen (1958)
  16. Bicol Express (1958)
  17. H-Line Gang (1957)
  18. Los Lacuacheros (1957)
  19. Tipin (1957)
  20. Kamay ni Cain [Hands of Cain] (1957)
  21. Bakasyon Grande [Grand Vacation] (1957)
  22. Lo Waist Gang (1956)
  23. Babaing Mandarambong (1956) - Second lead
  24. Simaron (1956)- Extra
  25. Anak ng Palaris [Palaris' Child] (1955)
  26. Suicide Commandos

See also


  1. ^ "Poe, six others proclaimed National Artists". 2006-05-24.  
  2. ^ "Ivan About Town: Ninoy and FPJ death masks on display in Pampanga".  
  3. ^ "Poe Jr., Fernando". Halalan 2004. ABS-CBN News. Archived from the original on 2006-03-01. Retrieved 2006-07-07.  
  4. ^ "Spinning FPJ". Newsbreak ( 2002-10-28. Archived from the original on 2006-05-04.  
  5. ^ "FPJ DRAWS TRIBUTE FROM ALL OVER". Philippine Headline News Online. 2004-12-15.  
  6. ^ San Juan, Joel (2004-02-11). "Fornier elevates Poe case to SC". The Manila Times. Archived from the original on 2005-07-12.  
  7. ^ a b "Biography for Fernando Poe" (HTML). IMDB. Retrieved 2008-01-15.  
  8. ^ a b c d "We bid farewell to a good man, movie king Fernando Poe Jr.". Manila Bulletin. 2004-12-22. Archived from the original on 2005-08-13. Retrieved 2008-01-15.  
  9. ^ "The cast of characters in the May 10, 2004 national election". Manila Times. 2003-01-11. Archived from the original on 2008-06-24. Retrieved 2008-01-15.  
  10. ^ "Ronald Allan Poe: A profile". Asian Journal Online. 2003-11-27. Retrieved 2008-01-16.  
  11. ^ "Awards for Fernando Poe Jr.". IMDB. Retrieved 2008-01-16.  
  12. ^ "Poe accepted nomination as main opposition candidate vs. Arroyo for 2004". 2003-12-23. Retrieved 2008-01-16.  
  13. ^ "Fernando Poe Jr., 65, Philippine Actor-Politician, Dies". The New York Times. 2004-12-14. Retrieved 2008-01-16.  
  14. ^ a b "Shocking showbiz deaths: so sudden, so soon". Philippine Entertainment Portal. 2007-10-31.,-so-soon. Retrieved 2008-01-16.  
  15. ^ "MASSIVE SECURITY FOR FPJ BURIAL". Philippine Headline News Online. 2004-12-22.  
  16. ^ "Susan Roces leads FPJ death anniversary rites".  
  17. ^ "ABS-CBN acquires right to 'Da King's' movie library". Abs-Cbn Interactive.  
  18. ^ "‘Alay ni Da King: An FPJ Special’ encores tomorrow".  

External links

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