Actor Eddie Garcia once said that a hearty meal would be wasted on someone who was about to be executed.
“They should give that good meal to somebody who’s living—somebody who’s not about to die,” he told a lifestyle magazine.
Garcia, who died Thursday at the age of 90,
was a practical person who never got offended when asked about death.
In a previous interview, in fact, he said he wasn’t afraid to die, and if that day would come, he’d like to die doing the thing he loved—acting.
Garcia had been in a coma for two weeks after a fall on the set of his new TV show. On Thursday, at 4.55 p.m., he finally succumbed.
His condition worsened on Wednesday with “little sign of brain activity,” said family friend Bibeth Orteza and spokesman Tony Rebosa. A hospital report confirmed that he suffered a neck fracture.
He was officially diagnosed with a severe cervical fracture and was placed on “do-not-resuscitate” status on June 15.
Earlier this month, on June 8, the actor was rushed to hospital in Tondo, Manila after falling over a wire that was blocking his way and collapsing during a shoot for an upcoming show. The next day, his family described him as “in deep sleep” as he remained unconscious and was transferred to the intensive care unit. He was dependent on a ventilator.
An accomplished and respected actor and director, Garcia was a movie icon and an industry pillar who has touched so many lives in the Philippine entertainment industry. He left behind an impressive legacy of professionalism, dedication, and love for his craft.
He also worked as a Philippine Scout in the US Army and was stationed in Okinawa in the aftermath of the Second World War before landing his first role in 1949.
Born Eduardo Verchez García in 1929 in Juban, Sorsogon, Manoy acted in his first screen starrer “Siete Infantes de Lara.” Since then, he acted and directed in more than 650 TV and film productions. He had played diverse roles—from leading man to villain.
He went on to become the most-nominated and most-awarded actor at the FAMAS Awards—the Filipino equivalent of the Oscars—with 20 trophies under his belt. He was the only individual inducted in three categories in the FAMAS Hall of Fame: Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Director. Last year, he was named Philippine Movie Icon by the prestigious EDDYS Awards.
Manoy made his directorial debut in “Karugtong ng Kahapon” in 1961 and was best regarded for his work in Beast of the Yellow Night (1971), The Woman Hunt (1972), “Atsay” (1978), “P.S. I Love You” (1981), “Forgive and Forget” (1982), “Cross My Heart” (1982), “Friends in Love” (1982) and “Kailan Sasabihing Mahal Kita” (1985), “Magdusa ka!” (1986), “The Debut” (2000), and “Abakada... Ina” (2001).
Later in his career, he starred in television programs such as “Little Nanay” from 2015 to 2016 and “Ang Probinsyano” from 2016 to early 2019.
Manoy earned his first international film award at the 55th Asia-Pacific Film Festival as the lead actor for the movie “Bwakaw” on Dec. 15, 2012, garnering the Asian Film Award for Best Actor, the only Filipino so far to win the award. He earned his first Best Actor in a Drama Series award at the 2002 Star Award.
Some of his recent works on the big screen were “ML (Martial Law)” where he played a delusional military officer, “Rainbow’s Sunset” in which he portrayed a former senator who came out gay in his senior years, and “Hintayan ng Langit” where he essayed the character of Manolo who was also comatose. When Manolo died he reunited with his ex-girlfriend in the place called “The Middle,” or purgatory.
Garcia is survived by his partner of 33 years, Lilibeth Romero, his stepsons Michael and Nikki Romero, and daughter Lisa Ortega.