They had the looks, the height, the youth, the fame, the talent, and the romance, not to mention the promise of more creative team-ups to regale an admiring audience. They became the "It" couple of showbiz.
They also, as a consequence, became the stuff of tabloids and television talk shows, with stories that ended up testing their relationship from day to day.
Richard was particularly vulnerable. Having romanced many beautiful women before Dawn, and having just come from a high-profile relationship with Megastar Sharon Cuneta, he was always being linked to beautiful women in and out of showbiz.
Naturally, Dawn—whose Hihintayin Kita sa Langit stint was her first as a leading lady—was always being hounded by the press about these rumors. She and Richard would have little peace.
Whatever other factors bore down on their romance, Richard and Dawn would eventually go their separate ways.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT. Dawn would go on to play bigger and bigger roles, and also steadily grow more luminous and more stylish. She would end up a bonafide star.
She would also go on to have other suitors, until she finally chose to settle down with Anton Lagdameo, a scion of the Floirendo-Lagdameo clan and currently a congressman from Davao. They would have two children.
While she kept away from showbiz for years, staying with her husband in Davao where he worked in his family's giant agri business, Dawn would eventually return to showbiz.
On television, she would be seen in teleseryes in both ABS-CBN and GMA-7, and on stage, in a musical. She did A Little Night Music, where her soulful rendition of the Stephen Sondheim classic, "Send in the Clowns," would earn her applause here and in Singapore, where the musical would go on tour.
Richard would remain, for many more years, a top matinee idol, challenged only by Aga Muhlach and Gabby Concepcion, and would keep being linked with still other stunning faces in and out of showbiz.
But one day he found the girl he would marry in Lucy Torres, the beautiful daughter of a landed and close-knit family from Ormoc, Leyte.
At the time, Lucy's only exposure to showbiz was her limited appearance in television commercials. It was in one of these commercial shoots that she would meet Richard and fall in love.
Lucy would later admit to the press that Richard had always been her "crush," and that she had magazine pictures of him in her room years before she even met him.
As for Richard, the fellow was smitten. He spent hours flying in and out of Ormoc and wooing, not only Lucy, but her entire non-showbiz family.
As his late manager, Douglas Quijano, liked to say, "Ang hinahanap lang pala ni Goma ay isang probinsiyana." (Goma is Richard's nickname.)