[PHOTO- Philippine comedy king Dolphy, Rodolfo Vera Quizon Sr. in real life, passed away at the Makati Medical Center on Tuesday night, July 10, 2012. He was 83.]

MANILA, JULY 12, 2012 (PHILSTAR) Comedy king Dolphy Quizon passed away Tuesday night after several weeks of being confined at the Makati Medical Center (MMC) for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 83.

Dolphy, Rodolfo Vera Quizon Sr. in real life, was rushed to the hospital last June 16, 2012 after complaining of shortness of breath.

Zsa Zsa Padilla, the comedy king's wife, confirmed the news over ABS-CBN News, ending the confusion over the comedian's death in social media.

The Makati Medical Center said in an official statement that Dolphy passed away at 8:34 p.m.

"We would like to inform you that Mr. Rodolfo "Dolphy" Quizon passed away at 20:34 due to multiple organ failure secondary to complications brought about by severe pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and acute renal failure," the hospital said in a statement released before 10 p.m.

Ruel Quizon, a grandson of the comedy king, said that as of 10:21 p.m. the body of his grandfather was still at the hospital.

He said in a radio interview that even when Dolphy was confined at the intensive care unit of the MMC, the comedy king was able to crack some jokes.

"Lumakas pa siya ulit. Natuwa kami noon... Nadilat pa niya ang mga mata niya, pag tinanong mo siya nag-rerespond siya. Nakikipaglokohan pa rin," he said.

Former President Joseph Estrada, a former action movie star and friend of Dolphy, described the comedy king as "very kind and helpful to others."

Another friend, vetaran actress Boots Anson-Roa, said "it's good to know that he is resting in peace, siguro tapos na ang paghihirap niya."

Sen. Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr., also a movie actor, said he was surprised with the news of Dolphy's death because he visited the comedy king early today.

""Lubha akong nabigla at nalungkot sa pagpanaw ng ating Comedy King na si Tito Dolphy . Malaking kawalan siya sa industriya, ngunit sa pagbabalik tanaw, hindi matatawaran ang kanyang mga pamana sa larangan ng sining at sa ating kultura. Bilang isang ring taga-industriya, masuwerte kung sino man ang makakaabot sa kanyang narating," Revilla said in a statement.

News of the comedy king's death trended on Twitter on Tuesday night as several celebrities expressed their condolences to the Quizon family in the micro-blogging site.

There were, however, also some tweets saying that the news of Dolphy's death was not true.

Yahoo! Philippines had tweeted that according to Nene Riego, Dolphy's publicist, the comedy king was still alive.

Dolphy was born July 25, 1928 in Tondo, Manila. The comedy king's movie exposure started when he worked as a vendor inside the theater in Manila.

Johnny Puruntong

"Dugo at Bayan" was his first movie with Fernando Poe Sr. at 19 years old.

An entry on Dolphy in Wikipedia said that Dolphy did his first movie with Sampaguita Pictures titled "Sa Isang Sulyap Mo, Tita" in 1952. He starred with Pancho Magalona and Tita Duran.

The comedy king was also famous for playing gay roles. His most famous portrayal of a gay was Facifica Falayfay.

After the movies, Dolphy was introduced to television in ABS-CBN. His first TV show was titled "Buhay Artista".

He made several blockbuster comedy movies after establishing RVQ Productions in 1965.

He would later make famous the name Johnny Puruntong, the lead character in the television show John En Marsha, which aired in 1971.



PHOTO- THE AILING King Comic is slowly but surely improving. Photo by MIKE ALQUINTO, INQUIRER]

By: Nestor U. Torre  - AILING king Comic Dolphy’s latest medical saga has kept his many fans on worried “ICU watch” for about a month now, going from one medical bulletin to the next with bated breath and hearts in hand.

In fact, there were days when, as the senior star slipped into a coma, the dire situation looked increasingly like a deathwatch.

Indeed, the way some media people covered the medical crisis (“like vultures,” a family friend was heard to sourly comment), they behaved like Dolphy was really at death’s door, and it would be only a matter of hours before he would finally give up the ghost.

Rogue’s gallery

To beat everyone else to the punch in terms of any kind of “breaking news” before that transpired, some overeager radio-TV reporters clutched at any and all bits of rumor or recollection coming from a veritable rogue’s gallery of dim-watted ex-celebrities.

They professed to be bosom buddies of the ailing, rapidly failing star, but some of them were really just out to claim their last 15 nano-seconds of fame—or, more properly, reflected glory.

Then, just last week, thanks to expert medical intervention and the prayers of many friends and fans, Dolphy’s parlous medical condition started to improve. His spokespersons, who just a few days ago looked like they were carrying heavy crosses of grief as they spoke to the media, now faced the cameras with tentative hope.

They shared the latest news about the successful interventions that were working, like the tracheotomy procedure that significantly enhanced Dolphy’s ability to breathe—and, no matter how minuscule, the viewing and reading public thrilled to the way that the beloved patient’s condition was slowly but surely improving.

After the unrelievedly bad and sad news of the past two weeks, each new and more hopeful bulletin was greeted with relief and joy by the populace, which had focused so completely on Dolphy’s condition that many weren’t even aware that two other iconic artists, Mario O’Hara and Tony Espejo, had lost their fight for life.

Then, just last week, the best bit of news of all to date was heard: For the first time in almost a month, his tearful relatives happily shared, Dolphy smiled.

That simple act meant the world to his worried fans, because it was the perfect indication and symbol of his improving condition.

After all, throughout his career, the veteran comedian was loved for his unique ability to lighten and brighten the lives of moviegoers and televiewers, and bring a smile to their faces. The fact that he was now feeling well enough to himself break into a smile meant that the tide in his long struggle for survival and physical rehabilitation had indeed turned.

Of course, it’s still going to be a long haul before Dolphy becomes well enough to go home and (dare we even say it?) resume his performing career. But, after the miracle of his current revival and survival, who can stop the people who love Dolphy from praying and hoping for more—and more?

In US movies, when the fabulous Greta Garbo made her first “all-talking” film, its tag line to entice people to watch it was, “Garbo laughs!” At this hopeful time, many decades later, we would like to appropriate the tag line and make it refer to our own cinematic icon: “Dolphy laughs!”

—Onscreen, offscreen, wherever, however, that would be an exhilaratingly special moment and blessing, indeed!

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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