Susan Roces, Queen of Philippine Movies, Has Passed Away

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Veteran actress Susan Roces, once dubbed the queen of Philippine movies and wife of action star Fernando Poe Jr. passed away on Friday, May 20. She was 80 years old. The news was reported by her nephew Lawrence Cruz Sonora. 

Born Jesusa Levy Sonora, Roces was born in Bacolod City on July 28, 1941. She began her entertainment career as a child actress, starring in the film Mga Bituin ng Kinabukasan in 1952 at the tender age of 10. She stopped for a while to go back to school but resumed acting at 14 with the Sampaguita Pictures release Boksingera. She worked steadily throughout the '50s and '60s.

On Christmas day 1968, Roces married Fernando Poe Jr., who by then was one of the biggest stars in Philippine cinema, earning the nickname "King of Philippine movies." Poe and Roces starred in no less than 17 films together. She was the adoptive mother of Senator Grace Poe and actress Lovi Poe.

In later years, Roces found renewed success on the small screen, particularly for playing the role of Flora “Lola Kap” Borja De Leon on ABS-CBN’s long-running drama series Ang Probinsyano, which is based on a movie that starred her husband.

No details of the cause of death were immediately released. 

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