I grown up admiring Rudy Fernandez, as always the Darling of the Press. His handsome and gentle looks defined him a good and equally generous man in the Philippine Movie Industry. Late last year he was diagnose of Peri-ampullary cancer and died this very day June 7, 2008, 6:15 Saturday morning at his home in Joeylane Street in White Plains in Quezon City.
When he become one of the biggest stars in Philippine movie history, Fernandez took on a new challenge: as leader of the Kapisanan ng mga Artista ng Pelikulang Pilipino at Telebisyon in the early 1990s. It wasn’t an easy lease on leadership among his own peers because he had to share not only his personal time and compassion to his followers but also, he had to shell out money from his own pocket. His bigness was tantamount to also big spending on his socio-civic activities for his fellow actors in the guild. He was especially helpful to bit actors and extras who, because they would never get paid the same as superstars, were constantly in need. He also helped character actors and stuntmen during lean times.
His rise to stardom took off when he was been choosen to be as Baby Ama in early 1970’s. They have launched the action saga, “Bitayin…Si Baby Ama,” a film that dramatized the exploits of a notorious ex-convict, directed by Jun Gallardo for MBM Productions.
Soon after the success of Baby Ama, Fernandez have type cast on other series of prisoner but good man on movies such “Wanted: Agad-Agad” (1976), “Makahiya at Talahib” (1977), “Teteng Salonga Ng Tondo” (1978), “Maynila” (1979), “Tatak Angustia” (1980).
Fernandez was the one tough, macho action star who also possessed matinee-idol type, boyish good looks and baby-faced charm. He was already a major star toward the latter part of the 1970s.
He didn’t always play anti-heroes and included crime-busters and police characters like “Alfredo Lim” (1977), “Gameng” (1977) and others among his roles.