Post-war actress Lilia Dizon, the mother of actors Christopher and Lara Melissa de Leon, died Monday morning. She was 92.
The death of the veteran actress was confirmed by her daughter Toni Abad and granddaughter Lotlot de Leon via social media posts.
“The angels are rejoicing! Mom is now worshiping our Lord Jesus Christ not by faith, but by sight. She is now with our father God in heaven. No more pain, no more tears, no more suffering. She left us at exactly 8:20 this morning,” Toni said in her Facebook post.
Meanwhile, Lotlot took to Instagram to express her grief over the death of their family’s matriarch. She posted a series of their family photos and videos with Lilia recounting everything about her from her “smile and laughter to her beautiful voice.”
Similarly, Christopher's wife, Sandy Andolong, gave a heartwarming tribute to Lilia by saying that she's grateful to have her as her mother-in-law.
Born Claire Strauss in 1928, Lilia started her career in showbiz after World War II. She was 15 when she began performing as a singer at Lotus Theater. At 16, she was discovered by writer-director Susana de Guzman.
Lilia first appeared in the movie Probinsiyana in 1946. It was a film topbilled by Jose Padilla, Jr. and Carmen Rosales. Thereafter, she starred in a number of movies under LVN Pictures such as Bathaluman (1952), Kandilerong Pilak (1954), and The Moise Padilla Story (1961), which starred Joseph Estrada and Leopoldo Salcedo. The film became the Philippine entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 34th Academy Awards.
At 17, Lilia married LVN director and actor Gil de Leon, with whom she had three children—Pinky, Christopher, and Lara Melissa. She later remarried to Antonio Abad and had two kids—Toni and Corazon.