February 4 marks the date when the World Cancer Day is celebrated. For 2015, the theme is "Not beyond us." Here are 12 Filipino Celebrities who died of cancer.
- Redford White (December 5, 1955 – July 25, 2010) - Known best for his character Sol in the sitcom “Buddy en Sol,” which aired on RPN 9 during the 1990s, Redford White died due to brain cancer and lung tumor on July 25, 2010. He was at 54 years.
- Francis Magalona (October 4, 1964 – March 6, 2009) - One of the country's most iconic Filipino hitmakers, Francis Magalona died of multi-organ failure after a long battle with leukemia on March 6, 2009. The rapper underwent a couple of chemotherapy sessions after he was diagnosed of the illness the previous year. After his passing, Magalona was awarded the 2009 Presidential Medal of Merit for his contribution to the local music industry during his lifetime. Today, a petition is circulating online, asking for Magalona to be recognized as a Philippine National Artist.
- Rudy Fernandez (March 3, 1952 – June 7, 2008) - Rudy Fernandez is known as one of the top action stars in the Philippines. But he was also adept in drama and has received several best actor awards he had received were for his performances in the movies "Batuigas… Pasukuin si Waway" (1984) and "Operation: Get Victor Corpuz, The Rebel Soldier" (1988). In 2008, just three days after Fernandez celebrated his 25th wedding anniversary with wife Lorna Tolentino, he had a seizure. The actor died from periampullary cancer at home on June 7, 2008.
- Charlie Davao (October 7, 1934 – August 8, 2010) - Veteran character acctor Charlie Davao, the father of award-winning actor Ricky Davao, died of colon cancer at the Philippine General hospital at the age of 75. He joined showbiz in 1959 under Sampaguita Pictures and landed his first leading role as a Filipino James Bond in “Pitong Matahari.” In his later years, he continued to act in TV shows such as “Totoy Bato” (GMA-7), and “Mula sa Puso” (ABS-CBN).
- Susan Fuentes (November 1, 1954 – September 7, 2013) - Susan Fuentes, or better known as the Queen of Visayan Songs for popularizing classics such as “Usahay,” “Matud Nila,” and “Miss Kita Kung Christmas,” died of colon cancer in 2013 at the age of 58. Fuentes achieved success for being able to make hits in different music markets ( Visayan, Tagalog, Hiligaynon, and Ilocano).
- June Keithley (March 10, 1947 – November 23, 2013) - June Keithley was nown as the “Voice of the People Power” when she stayed on air for 14 hours during the height of the first EDSA Revolution in 1986. After battling with breast cancer for three years, Keithley died at 66. She was also known as an actress and broadcast journalist, as well as the wife of broadcaster Angelo Ylagan Castro Jr, with whom she’s had three children.
- Marilou Diaz Abaya (March 30, 1955 – October 8, 2012) - Marilou Abaya was diagnosed of breast cancer in early 2007. As an acclaimed filmmaker, Abaya was known for raising the standards of Filipino Films, as seen in hits “Jose Rizal” (1998), “Karnal” (1983), and “Muro-Ami” (1999). Abaya was later awarded by a Japanese award-giving body of the Arts and Culture Prize of the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prizes.
- Mario O’Hara (April 20, 1946 – June 26, 2012) - Another notable director in this list is Mario O’Hara, who passed away in June 2012 due to leukemia at age 66 after finishing a new play entitled “Stageshow” for Tanghalang Pilipino. He also wrote the masterpiece “Insiang” (1976), directed Nora Aunor in some of her most memorable films, and won awards at FAMAS and Gawad Urian.
- Angelo Castro Jr. (March 6, 1945 – April 5, 2012) - An anchor on ABC-CBN News Channel’s (ANC) “The World Tonight,” Angelo Castro died of lung cancer in 2012 at 67 years old. Castro was also known as one of the brains behind "TV Patrol," and he was one of the anchors who returned on air in 1986 after the People Power Revolution.
- Mark Gil (September 25, 1961 – September 1, 2014) - Diagnosed with liver cancer in 2012, actor Mark Gil died in his sleep in 2014 at the age of 52. Gil’s relatives said he passed away peacefully with loved ones beside him. He is best known for roles played in “Bituing Walang Ningning,” “Unfaithful Wife,” “Batch ’81,” Palabra de Honor,” among others.
- Johnny Delgado (February 28, 1948 – November 19, 2009) - Actor Johnny Delgado was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008. Not long after, they were told that there has been a misdiagnosis and instead, he was suffering from lymphoma. Despite continued support and care from wife Laurice Guillen and daughters Anna Feleo and Ina Feleo, Delgado died on November 19, 2009 at home.
- Rio Diaz (Aug. 14, 1959 - Oct. 4, 2004) - Actress-host Rio Diaz died in October 2004 after long years of battling colon cancer. The sister of Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz, Rio was also a beauty queen, winning the Mutya ng Pilipinas crown in 1977 and finishing fourth runner-up at the Miss Asia pageant. In 1998, she was elected vice-mayor of Pontevedra, Negros Occidental. That same year, doctors found out malignant tumor in her abdomen. Six years after she was diagnosed with cancer, she died in Daly City, California at the age of 45.
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