Filipino film icon Gloria Sevilla, ‘Queen of Visayan Movies,’ dies at 90

gloria sevilla
Image: The Philippines Showbiz List
  • Filipino film icon Gloria Sevilla, also known as the “Queen of Visayan movies,” died peacefully in her sleep at the age of 90 in Oakland, California, on April 16.
  • Sevilla earned the title “Queen of Visayan movies” for starring in most of the Visayan-made movies during the ‘50s and ‘60s.
  • She was nominated for over 10 Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) awards and won two of its Best Actress awards for “Badlis Sa Kinabuhi” (1969) and “Gimingaw Ako” (1973).
  • The actor was also honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Gawad Urian Awards in 2019 and an Icon Award from The Entertainment Editors’ Choice Awards in 2021 for her contributions to Philippine cinema.
  • Sevilla’s funeral arrangements will both be held in the U.S. and in the Philippines.

Filipino film icon Gloria Sevilla, also known as the “Queen of Visayan Movies,” died over the weekend. 

The actor, who turned 90 on Jan. 31, died peacefully in her sleep at her brother’s home in Oakland, California, on April 16. 

“I can’t sleep. I miss you,” her granddaughter, actor Krista Ranillo, wrote in an Instagram post dedicated to Sevilla the day after. “It’s been 10 days since we last saw each other and my heart is breaking knowing I won’t see you again.” 

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One of Sevilla’s dreams was to revive the Visayan movie industry during her critically acclaimed career. She earned the title “Queen of Visayan movies” for starring in most of the Visayan-made movies during the 50s and 60s. 

She first appeared in Visayan-language movies including “Madugong Paghihiganti” (1963), which won her first Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) award for Best Supporting Actress. Throughout her career, she was nominated for a total of 12 FAMAS awards. She won the FAMAS Best Actress awards for “Badlis Sa Kinabuhi” (1969) and “Gimingaw Ako” (1973).

She starred in television dramas and sitcoms when she moved to Manila in the 1970s. The actor was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Gawad Urian Awards in 2019. She was also given an Icon Award by The Entertainment Editors’ Choice Awards in 2021 for her contribution to Philippine cinema.

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Sevilla had five children with her first husband, actor Mat Ranillo Jr., who died in a plane crash in 1969. She then had one daughter with her second husband, Amado Cortez, who was an actor, director and former Philippine Consul General in San Francisco before his death in March 2003.

Sevilla’s last roles were in the 2018 TV drama series “Asintado” and the 2019 film “Pagbalik.”

Funeral arrangements will be held in the U.S. and in the Philippines.

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