Veteran Filipino actor-comedian Rodolfo Vera Quizon, better known as Dolphy, died Tuesday after a four-year battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 83.
According to the IB Times, Dolphy had been treated at the Makati Medical Center in recent weeks. An emailed statement from the hospital revealed the exact cause of his death.
“We would like to inform the public that Mr. Rodolfo ‘Dolphy’ Quizon, passed away today, at 8:34pm due to multiple organ failure, secondary to complications brought about by severe pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and acute renal failure,” the Makati Medical Center confirmed.
Dolphy, called Philippines’ ‘King of Comedy,’ kicked off his entertainment career at the age of 19 with a part in the Filipino film Dugo at Bayan (I Remember Bataan).
Known for his notable portrayal of gay roles, whether comedy or drama, he starred in more than 200 films in his 66-year career, and was nominated 10 times as best actor at the Philippines-based FAMAS Awards.
In addition to movie roles, Dolphy also played a part on a radio program, starred in multiple TV sitcoms and even launched a biographical book in his later years.
Following Dolphy’s death, fans of the comedic actor flooded the internet with condolence messages.
“RIP Dolphy. Kevin Cosme really gave so much laughter to my childhood,” tweeted Andreo Calonzo, referring to one of Dolphy’s most memorable television characters.
Former president Joseph Estrada, an ex-movie action star and a long-time friend of Dolphy, said he joined millions in mourning for a “national artist.”
“His memory will live forever. He was the kindest, funniest, most helpful man I know,” Estrada told AFP.
“He made life bearable for the masses, and his roles sympathized with the plight of the millions of poor Filipinos.”
Though he never married, Dolphy is survived by 18 children by six different women, including his long-time partner, Filipino model Zsa Zsa Padilla.