Rodolfo "DOLPHY" Vera Quizon
The King of Philippine Comedy
July 25, 1928 - July 11, 2012
Rodolfo Vera Quizon, Sr., OGH , known by his screen names Dolphy, Pidol, and Golay (1944),but for millions of his followers, he is simply Dolphy or Kosme, the character he portrays in the weekly television sitcom, "Home Along Da Riles". Many people envy him for his wonderful career and interesting lifestyle. He was a Filipino comedian-actor in the Philippines. He is widely regarded as the country's King of Comedy for his comedic talent embodied by his long roster of works on stage, radio, television and movies.
He shared many moments of great laughs with the Filipino audience. As an actor and prime comedian, Dolphy entertained the nation with his physical humour and classic jokes.
Dolphy was born at 5:00 PM on July 25, 1928 at 527 Calle Padre Herrera (now P. Herrera St.) in Tondo, Manila His father was Melencio Espinosa Quizon, Sr. (December 5, 1900, Tondo, Manila - May 14, 1972, Quezon City), a ship engine worker in the Atlantic Gulf and Pacific Company of Manila, and the son of Modesto Quizon, Sr. and Isidora "Adorable/Salud" Espinosa. His mother was Salud de la Rosa Vera (February 5, 1903, Binondo, Manila - September 12, 1985, Quezon City), a school teacher, and the daughter of Máximo Vera y Limtico (February 1, 1872, Tondo, Manila - February 1, 1917, Tondo, Manila) and Lucila "Ninay" de la Rosa y Ravelo (c. 1871, Binondo, Manila - October 9, 1947, Tondo, Manila). He was the second eldest of ten children. He has eight siblings.His parents were married on July 14, 1925 in Malate, Manila.
Dolphy sold peanuts and watermelon seeds at movie theaters as a boy, which enabled him to watch movies for free. He was about thirteen when World War II started. He did odd jobs including shining shoes; attaching buttons at a pants factory; sorting bottles by size; working as a stevedore at the pier; trading; and driving calesas. In his free time he regularly watched stage shows at the Life Theater and the Avenue Theater. His favorite performers included the comedy duo Pugo and Togo, and the dancers Benny Mack and Bayani Casimiro.
He started performing onstage during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines. Dolphy was turning 17 when Benny Mack got him a job as a chorus dancer for a month at the Avenue Theater and subsequently on the Lyric Theater. He also appeared in shows at the Orient Theater. Golay was his first stage name. During air raids, they would interrupt the show and run for the air-raid shelter in the orchestra section together with the audience. If no bombs exploded, the show resumed.
Film and radio career
He had his first movie when he was 19 with Fernando Poe, Sr. in Dugo at Bayan (I Remember Bataan), billed as Rodolfo Quizon. It was the father of his future friend actor Fernando Poe, Jr., who first paved the way and gave him a break in films playing bit roles as a character actor. On a DZMM radio interview, he revealed his first talent fee was 5 pesos.
In the late 1940s, Dolphy also got into radio through Conde Ubaldo, a popular radio writer, director and producer. He joined the program Wag Naman which starred Pancho Magalona, Tessie Quintana and Baby Jane. His comedy duo with Panchito also started on radio on Conde Ubaldo shows.
Pancho Magalona recommended Dolphy to Dr. Jose “Doc” Perez, the owner of Sampaguita Pictures in 1952. His first movie with Sampaguita was Sa Isang Sulyap Mo, Tita, with Pancho Magalona and Tita Duran. It was also in Sampaguita were the comedy duo of Dolphy and Panchito became popular.
Dolphy became famous for playing roles after he was typecasted in Jack en Jill with Rogelio de la Rosa and Lolita Rodriguez in 1954. He was not the first choice for the role but Batotoy and Bayani Casimiro. Jack en Jill was a Philippine komiks serial by Mars Ravelo. This was followed with other movies adapted from komiks by the same author like Silveria, Captain Barbell and Facifica Falayfay.
The first time Dolphy played a serious role was in a 4-in-1 drama movie, with Barbara Perez who played a blind girl in the segment inspired by Charlie Chaplin’s movie City Lights.
After his contract with Sampaguita expired, he left the company. When he joined the production studio, his talent fee was P1,000 per movie. By the time he left, he was earning P7,000 per picture.
After leaving Sampaguita, Eugenio “Geny” Lopez Jr. got him into television on Channel 3. His first TV show was with ABS-CBN on "Buhay Artista" (Actor's Life), a concept by Geny Lopez and Ading Fernando. While doing radio, his talent fee was P250-P300 per program; when he did TV, he was at P500 per show.
He left ABS-CBN due to Martial Law. However, also moved to GMA Network since Buhay Artista moved to RBS-7 (former branding name of GMA) from December 1972 to early 1974.
While on television, he also started doing movies for independent studios like LEA Productions, Balatbat Productions, Filipinas Productions, Zultana Productions and Fernando Poe, Jr.'s D’Lanor Productions. He starred on two of his movies in 1964, Captain Barbell and Daigdig ng Fantasia (Fantasy World) with Nova Villa, both directed by Herminio “Butch” Bautista.
Dolphy established RVQ Productions in 1965. His first venture was Buhay Artista (Actor's Life), released in 1967, with Panchito, Susan Roces and Ronaldo Valdez whom he discovered. For Pepe en Pilar (1966), his film with Roces, they wanted a new face as Roces' partner. Dolphy first met Valdez in a basketball court and brought him to the press conference so Roces could see him. Roces' initial response was "Wala bang iba?" ("Isn't there anyone else?"). Dolphy brought Ronaldo to a barber shop, bought him a pair of boots at Glenmore and lent him his suit. When Dolphy presented him to Roces again, she said, "Iyan pa." ("I prefer him more"), not realizing that he was the same guy introduced earlier. Dolphy later gave him the stage name Ronaldo Valdez (from Ronald James Gibbs).
Dolphy also made spy film parodies when it became a fad, beginning with Dolpinger (1965) as Agent 1-2-3 (a parody of the James Bond movie Goldfinger). Chiquito, another Filipino comedian, played the recurring role of Agent 0-2-10 in these films.
In 1969, one of his biggest hits was Facifica Falayfay, where he starred as the gay lead character. It was directed by Luciano “Chaning” Carlos, with whom he worked in 23 of his movies. It was followed by Fefita Fofongay viuda de Falayfay in 1973 and Sarhento Fofongay: A... ewan! in 1974.
John en Marsha
John en Marsha started in 1971, a year before Martial Law, on RPN Channel 9. It was written, and directed by Ading Fernando. Boots Anson-Roa and Helen Gamboa were considered for the role of Marsha, his wife in the show before Nida, who was doing Wala Kang Paki with Nestor de Villa, eventually got the part. Before Dely Atay-Atayan, Chichay was also considered for the role of Doña Delilah, his wealthy and condescending mother-in-law. His real son Rolly Quizon and then-child actress Maricel Soriano played their kids. John en Marsha was such a hit that movie versions of the show were made eight times.
In 1978, he returned to gay roles in the movie Ang Tatay Kong Nanay (My Father the Mother), directed by respected Lino Brocka. With him in the movie was Niño Muhlach, dubbed as the "child wonder of the Philippines", as the son of his boyfriend, played by Phillip Salvador.
Home Along Da Riles
His next successful TV venture after John en Marsha was Home Along Da Riles in 1992 with Nova Villa, as his wife and real son Vandolph, as one of his children. The show continued in 2003 as Home Along Da Airport.
In 2001, Dolphy played another gay character, this time with his sons Eric Quizon and Jeffrey Quizon playing the same character at three different stages in life. They all won the Prix de la Meilleure Interpretation in Brussels, Belgium for playing Walterina Markova, a transvestite in the movie Markova: Comfort Gay.
In 2008, Dolphy made a movie with Comedy Box Office King Vic Sotto in a comedy movie, Dobol Trobol, a movie where Dolphy played a chef and Vic a hotel resident manager. This was the first time a film was produced through joint ventures of RVQ Productions (Dolphy's Film Outfit) & M-Zet Films (Vic Sotto's Film Outfit) and APT Entertainment. The film also featured stars Carmi Martin, Riza Santos, Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola, Ricky Davao and more.
In 2009, Dolphy was cast as a retired senior citizen in Chicago who wanted to watch Wowowee in Manila entitled Nobody Nobody But... Juan, and co-starred with Eddie "Manoy" Garcia, Gloria Romero, Joe Aldeguer, Pokwang, Giselle "G" Toengi, Heart Evangelista, Ya Chang, real life sons Eric Quizon, Jeffrey "Epi" Quizon & Vandolph Quizon.
In 2010, Dolphy's last movie played a priest in Father Jejemon, with his co-stars Cherrie Gil, Roy Alvarez, Maja Salvador, EJ Falcon, singer Ralph Salazar & YouTube singing duo Moymoy Palaboy, .