It was only last Tuesday, June 18, that legendary actor Eddie Garcia collected his nth Best Actor award, this time for the independent film ML, an honor bestowed on him by the country’s most esteemed film award-giving body, the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino.
The actor, however, was not present to go onstage, collect the award and cap the moment with a memorable speech. The Gawad Urian was brought to his bedside later that night – – at the Makati Medical Center, where he had been confined in the ICU for over a week following an accident on the set of an upcoming TV series he had been shooting. The accident, according to reports, fractured his cervical spine and left him comatose.
A 4:55 pm today, June 20, Eddie Garcia passed away, according to a medical bulletin issued by the hospital. Dr. Antonio Rebosa, the family spokesperson, confirmed the bulletin to news outlets. The family of the actor has not released a statement as of press time.
Media giant GMA, for whom the legendary actor was shooting the upcoming series Rosang Agimat, released the following statement:
“GMA Network deeply mourns the passing of veteran actor Eduardo ‘Eddie’ Verchez Garcia.
“‘Manoy,’ as he is fondly called, will be greatly missed by his family, loved ones, co-workers, and fans.
“An accomplished and respected actor and director, he was a movie icon and an industry pillar who has touched so many lives in the Philippine entertainment industry. He leaves behind a legacy of professionalism, dedication, and love for his craft.
“The Kapuso Network joins his family and the whole entertainment industry in mourning his passing.”
It remains unknown if Rosang Agimat will ever resume shooting, tainted as it is now by the death of one of the best actors – – and also an award-winning director – – in the history of Philippine entertainment.
What is known is that Eddie Garcia will live on in the hearts and minds of his peers and the audience he has long entertained often in profound ways.