Susan Roces, dubbed the Queen of Philippine Cinema not only for her marriage to movie “king” Fernando Poe Jr. but also for her own towering 70-year acting career, passed away on Friday evening in the United States, her daughter Sen. Grace Poe announced. She was 80.
“With great sadness, we announce the loss of our beloved Jesusa Sonora Poe, whom many of you know as Susan Roces,” Senator Poe said in a statement, referring to her mother’s birth name.
“She passed away peacefully on a Friday evening, May 20, 2022, surrounded by love and warmth, with her daughter Grace, her nephews Joseph and Jeffrey, and many of her family and close friends.”
“She lived life fully and gracefully. Remember her in her beauty, warmth, and kindness. She is now with the Lord and her beloved Ronnie — FPJ. We will miss her sorely but we celebrate a life well lived.”
“Susan Roces—daughter, mother, grandmother, a true Filipina, and a national treasure,” the senator added.
Roces had been widowed after the 2004 passing of her husband and fellow screen veteran Fernando Poe Jr., who ran for President that year but lost to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The incumbent senator is their lone daughter.
Roces would have turned 81 on July 28. The veteran actress’s death was also confirmed by her nephew in a social media post.
Lawrence Cruz Sonora, the son of actress Rosemarie Sonora, younger sister of Roces, shared a photo of himself and Roces with the caption “RIP Mama Inday.”
Born Jesusa Purificacion Levy Sonora-Poe on July 29, 1941, Roces launched a career in show business in 1952 when she starred in Jose
Nepumoceno’s Mga Bituin ng Kinabukasan opposite Ike Lozada.
She earned the moniker “Philippine Movie Queen” in the 1960s by starring in more than 30 blockbuster movies.
Among her notable works were Ang Daigdig Ko’y Ikaw (1965), Maruja (1967), Florinda (1973), Patayin Sa Sindak Si Barbara (1974), and Maligno (1977). Her last movie credit was the Mano Po series in 2002 and 2003.
Roces also gave life to well-loved characters on television, the most recent of which was the doting Lola Flora of the titular character
Cardo Dalisay (Coco Martin) in FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.