Cherie Gil, the most popular TV and movie villainess of her generation, has died, her nephew Sid Lucero told GMA News Friday.
Evangeline Rose Eigenmann in real life, Gil defined what it means to be the kontrabida or villain, often against characters played by her real-life friend, Sharon Cuneta.
"You're nothing but a second-rate, trying hard copycat!" was Gil's most iconic line, playing washed up pop star Lavinia Arguelles opposite Cuneta's Dorina Pineda in the 80's classic "Bituing Walang Ningning".
Gil is survived by her three children, Jay Eigenmann and Raphael and Bianca Rogoff. Among her last projects was "Legal Wives" on GMA Network. In 2020, she taught an online acting masterclass, according to her Instagram.
Kontrabida of all time
It was her villainess role in "Bituing Walang Ningning" in 1985 that cemented Gil's status as film and TVs premiere villain. And true to that memorable line, she was the yardstick by which evil, scheming characters were measured.
Gil played up her sharp features and pointed gaze with big hair, shoulder pads, high-waisted pants, and at one time, in 1992's "Ngayon at Kailanman" a whip to emphasize that her character will go to great lengths to get what she wants.
Her Valentina-esque character Valentine in 1994's "Darna: Ang Pagbabalik", was one of the high points of that otherwise muted follow-up to Nanette Medved's "Darna" from a few years prior.
Before her kontrabida turn in the mid-80s, Gil starred in the critically acclaimed "City After Dark" at the start of the decade.
At the start of 2022, Gil told MEGA Magazine how she shaved her head to symbolize how she was starting a new life in New York.
“I was getting tired of myself. And I was just so angry and unhappy, so I sold everything and packed up,” she said.
“I got rid of all the clothes I had that symbolized a past life… I’m completely finding myself and coming to terms with who I really am. It’s just great to have this opportunity and to be alive to start over. It’s like a rebirth of sorts,” she said.