After that, I did other komiks characters — Silveria, Captain Barbell, Facifica Falayfay, all by Mars Ravelo. The first time I did drama was in a 4-in-1 movie, with Barbara Perez who played a blind girl. It was also in Sampaguita where my team-up with Panchito became popular. Nagkaroon kami ng apat na anak — Mariquita, Carlos, Geraldino and Edwin. As a father, I couldn’t give my children all my attention when they were growing up.
My first venture was Buhay Artista, released in 1966. He’s my discovery, for Pepe en Pilar, pelikula namin ni Susan. I saw Ronaldo in a basketball court and brought him to the presscon so Susan could see him. When I presented him to Susan again, she said, “Iyan pa.” She didn’t know that he was the same guy I introduced to her earlier. My biggest hit is Facifica Falayfay, directed by Luciano “Chaning” Carlos.
I brought Ronaldo to the barber shop, bought him a pair of boots at Glenmore and lent him my terno. Because of Jack and Jill, I was typecast in gay roles. When agent movies were the fad, I also played a secret agent, Dolpinger 1-2-3.
Hosts sina Eddie Ilarde, Leila Benitez, Pepe Pimentel at Bobby Ledesma. My first TV show was Buhay Artista, sa ABS-CBN, idea nina Geny at Ading Fernando.
Nagkaroon kami ng apat na anak — Ronaldo, Enrico, Madonna and Jeffrey. I began doing movies for independent studios — LEA Productions, Balatbat Productions, Filipinas Productions, Zultana Productions and D’Lanor ni FPJ. FPJ got me to star in two movies in 1964, Captain Barbell and Daigdig ng Fantasia (with Nova Villa), both directed by Herminio “Butch” Bautista, tatay ni Herbert. Kami ni Panchito pa rin, kasama sina Susan Roces at Ronaldo Valdez.
Other movies that I love are Singing in the Rain and all the Chaplin movies. I also like musicals, ‘yung starring Fred Astraire and Gene Kelly.
Fan ako nina Frank Sinatra, Doris Day at Ella Fitzgerald. Gone With The Wind was the first color movie that I saw. My other favorites: Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, Jack Lemmon, Hedy Lamarr, Ingrid Bergman, Jack Nicholson, Tom Hanks, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Hilary Swank at marami pang iba. Sa local, ‘yung mga paborito ko namayapa na — Leopoldo Salcedo, Rogelio de la Rosa, Jose Padilla Jr. When my contract expired, P7,000 per picture na ako. I fell in love with a fellow Sampaguitan but I’d rather not reveal who she was. Panchito and I stayed in Tawag for six months, then sinimulan namin ang Buhay Artista where we continued the song-translation portion. Sumali siya sa Miss Universe pageant dito noong 1974. ‘Yung episode namin was inspired by the Charlie Chaplin’s movie City Lights. When I joined Sampaguita, my fee was P1,000 per movie. Actually, our tandem started on radio, sa mga shows ni Conde Ubaldo. ‘Yung song-translation gimmick namin ni Panchito started in Tawag ng Tanghalan, the amateur talent search that produced Pepe Pimentel, Ric Manrique Jr., Diomedes Maturan, Nora Aunor and Edgar Mortiz. It’s not true na naging girlfriend ko si Miss Aruba (Maureen Ava Viera). Nang naging kami ni Zsa Zsa, nabulabog ang buhay namin. We also have an adopted daughter, si Nicole who was just a few months old nang ibigay sa akin ng nanay niyang Amerikana. One of my embarrassing moments…Sa Orient, sumasayaw kami. I saw this article in Zsazsa Padilla‘s Multiply account. I’m a big fan of Dolphy that I get excited that he is having his own book. My dream was to have a solo dance na gaya ni Fred Astaire. My first love was Aida Javier who came from a family of musicians. In our skit, she stood motionless, kunwari portrait, habang kinakantahan ko ng Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa.