Mention Ronnie Lazaro to a friend you’re having a conversation with and chances are, you'll find him instantly stumped.
“Ronnie who?” he would mutter, meanwhile racking his brains for a name that rings a bell.
State “Ronnie Lazaro” again—“You know, that man who starred in that 1985 sex film Boatman or Oro Plata Mata, one of the greatest Filipino films of all time?”—and you'll see your friend's face begging for enlightenment.
Ask him, however, to Google “Ronnie Lazaro,” who has starred in about a hundred Filipino films, or simply point him out when you catch him in a primetime teleserye. Ronnie, anyway, almost always plays support to those lead actors either as their loving father or concerned uncle or that suspicious-looking right hand of the villain.
When you do, rest assured that your friend will recognize the face—“A, oo! Siya pala si Ronnie Lazaro!”
The fact that character actors’s names (e.g. Ronnie Lazaro, Joey Paras, Raquel Villavicencio, Joonee Gamboa, and a few others) often slip the minds of the audience, in particular the younger generation, doesn’t make these precious talents any less skilled.
These are the underrated actors of Philippine film and television. They are artistes—who, for the love of their craft have shifted in and out of roles, be it a nasty kontrabida, the funny sidekick of the action star, or father of the heroine—but never the leading man or lady in a big-time production.
This just goes to show how confident they are with their gift in acting and that they don’t need a superstar’s moniker to affirm just how good they are.
Does this generation still recognize, moreover, name these underrated actors in this TOP LIST?