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Veteran Actor Ronaldo Valdez Passes Away at 77

The Philippine entertainment industry lost a beloved veteran actor last Sunday with the death of Ronaldo Valdez at age 77. Valdez was the father of singer-comedian Janno Gibbs and singer-actress Melissa Gibbs. He passed away on December 17, 2023, as confirmed by the Quezon City Police District. The cause of death has not yet been disclosed.

Prolific Actor Known for Patriarch Roles

Valdez was best known for playing fatherly patriarch roles across films and televisions over his decades-long acting career. With his imposing frame and acting chops, he exuded a natural gravitas and wisdom on screen.

Some of his most prominent roles included family man Roman in 1990s series Mula Sa Puso, FPJ’s mentor Conrado in the long-running FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano, and billionaire patriarch Francisco Buenaventura in the hit 2016 remake of I Love Betty La Fea.

Recent Comeback Role

In one of his last roles, Valdez made a comeback to ABS-CBN in 2022. He played the affable guardian “Lolo Sir” in the romantic drama 2 Good 2 Be True. It marked a full circle return to television from his 1990 breakout role in the ABS-CBN program Cedie.

Other Career Highlights

Beyond his acting credentials, Valdez enjoyed acclaim as the first ever Filipino celebrity to play KFC’s Colonel Sanders in 2015. He brought the iconic chicken founder to life in a series of humorous advertisements.

Additionally, his contributions were recognized in 2015 when he received the Helen Vela Lifetime Achievement Award for Drama at the Golden Screen TV Awards.

Gone Too Soon

News of Valdez’ passing sparked an outpouring of tributes from former co-stars including Kathryn Bernardo. Many expressed shock and sadness at his sudden death, noting that he still had much to offer in Philippine entertainment.

As his daughter Melissa Gibbs wrote in a tribute, “Our family is so grateful for all the projects you’ve completed as an actor. But you left too soon…” Valdez leaves behind a storied legacy across television and film. His iconic patriarch roles will remain influential for generations to come.

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