Actor Robert Campos succumbs to cancer; 75
Veteran actor Robert Campos, a former LVN Pictures matinee idol in the 1950s, succumbed to colon cancer on Wednesday, July 8, his daughter told the Inquirer.
Campos was brought to the Makati Medical Center on Wednesday afternoon due to difficulty in breathing, said daughter Maleck Morales. “He had a heart attack as he was about to be transferred from the emergency room to the intensive care unit,” Morales recalled. Campos died minutes before midnight. He was 75.
Morales said Campos, Robert Cecil Fort Donato in real life, was diagnosed with cancer in 2014. The actor was only on the seventh of a 12-session chemotherapy treatment when he passed away. “On Wednesday, I got a call from his sister Cecile and nieces—they were the ones who brought him to the hospital. His doctor said he was already critical then. We all held his hand and stayed close to him,” said Morales.
Campos fought the illness until the end, his daughter said. “I just think it was already his time.”
The actor’s remains will be at the Funeraria Paz Chapels in Sucat, Parañaque, starting today, July 9. Date of cremation will be announced later.
He is survived by wife, veteran actress Luz Valdez; daughter Maleck; son Robby; grandchildren Dani and Denise; sister Cecile Bernardo, nieces Maying Kwok, Judith Dayrit, Claire Feliciano and Joam del Gallego.
Campos met his wife Luz in the LVN studios where they starred in several films. “They have long been separated but they were okay. They were very civil to each other,” said Morales.
Morales shared with the Inquirer: “Dad loved acting. Even when he already had a family, he would still accept acting projects. It was his first love.”
Campos made his acting debut in the film “Rose Tatoo ng Buhay Ko” (1958), which top-billed singer Diomedes Maturan and actress Charito Solis.
He remained active until the 1980s and starred in such films as “Bagets” (1984), “Soltero” (1984), “Dapat Ka Bang Mahalin” (1984), “Working Girls” (1984) and “Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang” (1985).
He was also an athlete, said Morales. ”He loved to play tennis. He was also part of the swimming varsity team of San Beda, where he won several medals.”
Morales said her dad loved the outdoors. “He liked going on long road trips—as far as his car would take him,” she added.
“As a father, he was patient and very understanding. He was quiet and was not strict at all. He loved all of his grandchildren. His eyes would light up whenever he is around them. I saw that in his eyes for the last time when my daughter Dani arrived at the emergency room.”
“I will miss everything about him,” she said. “He was also a chef. He studied at Le Cordon Bleu (a known hospitality institution) when he was younger. That’s what the whole family would miss the most.”
He used to own a Spanish restaurant called Roberto’s along Edsa.
Actress Perla Bautista, his partner in the 1960 movie “Black Beauty,” recalled that Campos shared with her two chicken recipes. “He cooks well. He used to call me twin because we were born on the same day (Feb. 18, 1940).”
Actress and Mowelfund (Movie Workers Welfare Foundation) head Boots Anson-Roa related that Campos would occasionally attend gatherings of Balik Samahan, a group of movie actors from the 1940s, 50s and 60s.
“We used to tell him that he was the last living leading man from our era,” Bautista recounted.
Actress Gina Pareño, his costar in “Working Girls,” recalled that Campos was “a handsome and good man.” With a report from Bayani San Diego Jr.
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