Anne Curtis: Pambansang Dyosa

by Jocelyn Valle
Jan 7, 2020 looks back at the career of Anne Curtis, the Fil-Australian TV host-actress who is one of the mainstays of It's Showtime.

For the first time in her 22 years in showbiz, Anne Curtis is taking a break to focus on her family life.

Anne and husband Erwan Heussaff are expecting, and she’s currently on maternity leave in her birthplace, Australia, to await the arrival of their baby.

The TV and movie star, who turns 35 on February 17, recently starred in The Mall, The Merrier, which is one of the two top-grossing entries to the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) 2019.

She’s also a co-host in ABS-CBN’s noontime musical-variety program, It’s Showtime.

Anne, who has earned the monicker Pambansang Dyosa, has plenty to look back on. Her rise to stardom and establishment of a successful showbiz career was a long but steady climb.

At age 12, she was spotted by a talent scout dining at a Jollibee branch on Boni Avenue in Mandaluyong City with her parents—Carmen, born in the Philippines, and James, an Australian.

It was 1997, and her family, including younger sister Jasmine, was in Manila vacationing from Australia.

James, a lawyer, was skeptical, but Carmen, a homemaker, welcomed the opportunity that opened for their daughter in the entertainment industry.

Thus, Carmen and Anne stayed behind while James and Jasmine flew back to their home in the land down under.

Pre-teen Anne, with her mom in tow, began a series of video tape recording sessions for casting in commercials until she bagged a few ad campaigns.

She then auditioned—and won—the role of Princess Dahlia in Peque Gallaga’s kids’ fantasy flick Magic Kingdom: Ang Alamat ng Damortis, an entry by Viva Films to MMFF 1997.

The mestiza newbie starred with her fellow child performers Jason Salcedo, Janus del Prado, and Junell Hernando.

Seeing Anne’s star potential, Viva Films signed her up for a talent management contract and cast her in its movies and in TV shows that aired in GMA-7, IBC 13, and RPN 9.

Her first teleserye appearance was in GMA-7’s Ikaw na Sana (1998), starring Angelu de Leon and Bobby Andrews.

She was cast in a love team with Chubi del Rosario, who was already part of that era’s wildly popular youth-oriented series, T.G.I.S.

When the actress who originally played Chubi’s love interest left the show, Anne was tapped to be his new onscreen partner.

Anne and Chubi made a cute and kilig pair playing usually supporting roles in a few movies such as Tulak ng Bibig, Kabig ng Dibdib (1998), Honey, My Love, So Sweet (1999), and Ika-13 Kapitulo (2000).

They were also paired in drama series such as May Bukas Pa (1999), Anna Karenina (1998), and Ang Iibigin Ay Ikaw (2002).

In May 2016, the actress admitted to her fans in the #AskAnne session on Twitter that Chubi was her puppy love.

Less than a month later, she posted a photo of her and Chubi, her first boyfriend, on her Instagram account. The picture was taken during their reunion with their former T.G.I.S. castmates in June that year.

(Read: Anne Curtis reunites with ex-boyfriend Chubi del Rosario)

Back in 2003, Chubi quit showbiz while Anne went on to pursue a solo career, which started taking off when she moved to ABS-CBN, along with other Viva artists like Sarah Geronimo.

In her first Kapamilya project, Hiram, Anne joined the main cast with Kris Aquino, Dina Bonnevie, Heart Evangelista, and Geoff Eigenmann. It ran from July 2004 to May 2005.

Anne went on appearing in other shows of her new home network, notably in the drama anthology Maalaala Mo Kaya? and the musical-variety program ASAP.

She bagged her first title role in the 2005 teleserye Kampanerang Kuba, an adaptation of Pablo S. Gomez’s classic komiks whose movie version in 1974 starred Vilma Santos.

The drama series marked Anne’s ascent to A-list status.

Soon afterwards, she joined top love-team partners John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo in the hit drama series Maging Sino Ka Man (2007), along with her own leading man, Sam Milby. They were reunited for its sequel, Maging Sino Ka Man: Ang Pagbabalik (2006).

She then got her solo primetime show in the 2008 fantasy series Dyosa, and subsequently earned the same showbiz monicker in reference to her goddess-like beauty.

She was likewise on a roll on the big screen as a leading lady to top actors Aga Muhlach in When Love Begins (2008) and Jericho Rosales in Baler, an entry to MMFF 2008.

The following year, Anne was tapped to co-host It’s Showtime, alongside Vice Ganda, Vhong Navarro, Karylle, Kim Atienza, and musicians Teddy Corpuz (of Rocksteddy) and Jugs Jugueta (of Itchyworms).

This development in her showbiz career moved Anne closer to the masa crowd, who, until then, considered her mestiza good looks and her speaking in English as too sosyal and alta for their taste.

That’s why despite her limited singing talent, her attempts to perform vocally challenging tunes were applauded, and even propelled her to record albums (Annebisyosa, The Forbidden Album, Forever Young) and stage hit concerts (Annebisyosa: No Other Concert World Tour; The Forbidden Concert Round Two: Annekapal; Anne Kulit, Promise, Last Na ’To).

By this time, Anne has solidified her status as a box-office draw with the blockbusters No Other Woman (2011), A Secret Affair (2012), Sid and Aya: Not a Love Story (2018), BuyBust (2018), and Aurora, an entry to MMFF 2018.

She likewise proved to be a potent social media influencer with millions of followers on Twitter and Instagram. To date, the star dubbed as the National Sweetheart has 13.8 million followers on Instagram and 12.3 million followers on Twitter.

In December 2014, some of her posts were included in the book, Tweets from the Top, an anthology of tweets by top personalities in the Southeast Asian region.

Outside showbiz, Anne has a beauty business called blk cosmetics, which was launched online in 2017. The brand opened its own store a year later.

The Kapamilya star also does her share of philantrophic works, particularly those benefitting the projects of UNICEF.

As the celebrity advocate for UNICEF Philippines, Anne visited places in Leyte province that were devasted by Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in 2013.

She spearheaded a marathon and wrote a children’s book titled Anita, The Duckling Diva, in support of the agency’s various beneficiaries.

Meanwhile, everything’s coming up roses in Anne’s personal life.

She married her beau of six years, Erwan Heussaff, a restaurateur and food vlogger, in a dreamy wedding held on November 12, 2017, in the resort town of Queenstown, New Zealand.

The sought-after Fil-Aussie beauty ended her dating history of being romantically linked to actors Chubi del Rosario, Oyo Sotto, Richard Gutierrez, Sam Milby, and entrepreneur Paolo Araneta.

In November 2019, Anne and Erwan announced on Instagram that they’re going to be parents to a baby girl.

A few more weeks to go, they—and the world—will say hello to Anne’s mini-me.

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