Acclaimed veteran thespian Anita Linda, the oldest known living actress in Philippine cinema, died today for unknown reasons. She was 95 years old.
Anita’s daughter Francesca Legaspi told the Philippine Star in a message that her mother “had difficulty breathing” when “she passed away this morning at home.”
Director Adolf Alix, Jr., who directed Linda in the films Circa and Adela, confirmed the actress’ death on social media, where he fondly referred to the icon as his own “lola” or grandma.
“This is a very sad day for me. I am trembling as I am gathering my thoughts. She is like my Lola and part of my family,” Alix said.
“The great Anita Linda has passed away this morning at 6:15 am at 95. Prayers for her soul. My condolences to her family and her children, Francesca Legaspi, and Fred Osburn,” he said and shared a black and white photo of himself with the actress.
Linda was born Alice Buenaflor Lake on November 23, 1924 in Pasay City.
She started acting in the 1940s and has been in acclaimed films as Lino Brocka’s 1974 drama Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kinulang (“You’ve Been Weighed But Have Been Found Wanting”) and in Alix’s 2008 indie drama Adela where she plays the titular lead character.
The Pinoy cinema icon’s accolades include winning the best actress award for her role in Adela at the 10th Cinemanila International Film Festival that same year, and two FAMAS Best Supporting Actress for her role in the 1952 Sawa sa Lumang Simboryo (“A Python in the Old Dome”) and in 1998’s Babae sa Bubungang Lata (“Woman on a Tin Roof”).
Linda was also named Best Actress at the Asia Pacific Film Festival Award in Taipei for her turn as a doting grandmother bearing the brunt of a suspected criminal grandson in the 2008 movie Lola.
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