(UPDATED) Veteran Actress Susan Roces Passes Away At 80

The Queen of Philippine Movies has joined her Creator.

A few hours ago, Jesusa Purificacion Levy Sonora-Poe, aka Susan Roces, breathed her last. She was 80 years old. Her adoptive daughter, Sen. Grace Poe, was the first to break the news.

In a statement released through her office, Grace Poe said, “She’s with the Lord and her beloved Ronnie. We will miss her but we celebrate a life well-lived. Susan Roces–daughter, mother, grandmother, a true Filipina, and a national treasure.”

Roces was the wife of the late action star Fernando Poe Junior (FPJ). The veteran actress was with family and friends when she died. Her nephew Lawrence Cruz Sonora expressed his grief in a Facebook post.

Lawrence is the son of actress Rosemarie Sonora, Roces’ younger sister. He uploaded a picture of himself with Roces and captioned it, “RIP Mama Inday.”

Roces’ family did not specify what the actress died of at first. But eventually, Sen. Poe revealed her mother died of cardiopulmonary arrest. She is survived by her daughter, her nephews, her sister, and her niece Sheryl Cruz.

The industry mourns

Comedian and talent manager Ogie Diaz wrote: “Rest in peace, Tita Susan Roces.” Meanwhile, Julia Montes changed her profile picture to an image of a lit candle. She eventually wrote about special bond with Roces, posting a photo of handwritten letters Roces had sent her on her Instagram.

Bela Padilla uploaded a video of her clowning around with Roces on Instagram.

Veteran movie scribe Baby K. Jimenez, who was one of Roces’ closest friends, simply reposted Poe’s statement. Jimenez has yet to express her true feelings about Roces’ passing.

Susan Roces’ life

The actress’ last role was in FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano on ABS-CBN. It was based on the 1996 film produced by her late husband. She played Lola Flora to Coco Martin’s Cardo Dalisay. Her character was also called “Lola Kap.”

Roces was born on July 28, 1941. She made her acting debut in Mga Bituin ng Kinabukasan in 1952 and went on to make over 100 more movies. That feat earned Roces the “Queen of Philippine Movies” title. Her filmography includes Ang Daigdig Ko’y Ikaw,Gumising Ka, Maruja, Mano Po, and Patayin Mo Sa Sindak Si Barbara.

READ Nope, “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano” is not ending next month

She’s also known for RiteMed commercials, especially the catchy jingle.

Roces has 5 FAMAS Awards under her belt. Two of those were Best Actress trophies. In honor of her contributions to Philippine cinema, the FAP Awards gave her a Lifetime Achievement Award. The Philippine Post Office also issued a stamp in her honor.

Stay tuned for further updates.

Featured Image Daniella Sison

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