Cinema icon Anita Linda passes away at 95
MANILA, Philippines — Anita Linda, Philippine cinema’s oldest working actress, has passed away at the age of 95, her daughter Francesca Legaspi confirmed Wednesday.
Linda succumbed to heart failure, Legaspi said as quoted in an ABS-CBN News report.
Director Adolfo Alix Jr. who helmed Linda’s previous films “Circa” and “Adela” mourned the veteran actress’s death over his Facebook account.
This is a very sad day for me. I am trembling as I am gathering my thoughts… She is like my Lola and part of my…
“This is a very sad day for me. I am trembling as I am gathering my thoughts… The great Anita Linda has passed away this morning at 6:15 AM. Prayers for her soul,” Alix captioned a photo of himself with Linda.
Linda is survived by her son Fred and daughter Francesca. Her remains will be cremated today at the Manila Memorial Park and Crematory in Sucat, Paranaque.
“My condolences to her family and her children, Francesca Legaspi and Fred Osburn,” he added.
Alix who got to speak over the phone this morning with Francesca said the veteran actress had not been eating well for days prior to her death. Linda would also experience difficulty in breathing episodically, “but the one she experienced this morning had been the worst,” said Alix.
A doctor had been called to go to their house to certify her death, Alix added.
Alix first worked with Linda in “Tambolista” (2007). Linda then played the lead in Alix’s “Adela” in 2009 and then in “Presa” in 2011. Her last movie was also with Alix, titled “Circa” (2019), where she played mother to Gina Alajar, Laurice Guillen, and Jaclyn Jose.
“She was the only actress to have experienced the Golden Age of Philippine cinema,” declared Alix. “She was able to work with all the great directors of the past, like Gerry de Leon, Lino Brocka, Ishmael Bernal, Joey Gosiengfiao, and then with Mike de Leon. She was a favorite of everyone.”
Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) chair Liza Diño-Esguerra also paid tribute to the late actress.
“It was such a humbling experience to have been able to spend a moment with one of our country’s living treasures. To Miss Anita Linda, the industry is blessed to have you po. Thank you for being an inspiration to all of us,” she said in a Facebook post.
I just heard about the passing of the Great Anita Linda from director Adolfo Borinaga Alix Jr., and it's…
Last year, Linda’s contribution to the industry was honored as the Philippine cinema celebrated its 100th year.
Linda was the oldest actress to ever win a Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) Awards at age 74 when she was hailed Best Supporting Actress for 1998 film “Ang Babae sa Bubungang Lata.”
Her last movie was Alix’s Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP) 2019 entry “Circa” where she starred with the late veteran actor Eddie Garcia and Enchong Dee.
Meanwhile, award-winning filmmaker Brillante Mendoza described the veteran actress as “a legend in Philippine cinema.”
Linda played the lead in Mendoza’s critically acclaimed 2009 indie movie “Lola.”
“She is a legend, alongside actors Leopoldo Salcedo, Fernando Poe Jr., and Dolphy,” declared Mendoza. “She has lived a full life. If she could, she’d tell us that she has already accomplished her mission.”
Mendoza first worked with Linda in William Pascual’s film “Takaw Tukso” in 1986. The film won for him a Gawad Urian best production design award from the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino.
Mendoza directed Linda again in “Lola,” alongside Rustica Carpio, in 2009. The movie won for Linda the best actress trophy at the 2010 Asia-Pacific Film Festival. Linda then shared with Carpio the best actress honor from the Fajr Film Festival in Iran and then, locally, the Gawad Urian.
Mendoza and Linda last worked together in 2012, in the movie “Captive,” starring French actress Isabel Huppert.
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