Award-winning character actress Cherie Gil has passed away, according to a post by actress-talent manager Annabelle Rama on social media on Friday, Aug. 5. She was 59.
On Facebook, Rama wrote: "CHERIE GIL JUST PASSED AWAY AT 5PM TODAY PLEASE PRAY FOR HER."
Later, the sad news was confirmed by actor Sid Lucero, nephew of Gil, via social media and GMA News.
"I love you;) big hug :)" wrote Lucero as he uploaded a photo of Gil.
Gil's cause of death has not been confirmed. But based on her social media posts, Gil had been receiving treatment at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
In February, Gil left Philippine showbiz and migrated to the US.
While in New York, she was spotted with a shaved head.
“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,” Gil told fashion magazine Mega. “It’s just great to have this opportunity and to be alive to start over. It’s like a rebirth of sorts."
On June 19, Gil shared her last photos on Facebook with Renee Perrine who she describes as a "soul sister." Her caption read: "MY ANGEL FROM PARADISE HAS arrived!!!! Renee Perrine. Nurturer, healer, Love SOUL SISTER!!! Kindred. Stoked and super grateful "
"Cherie was beauty personified. She had a reverence for her craft and transformed each role into art. Her friendship was pure, childlike, and giving. We shared a love for ballet. I will always treasure our conversations that just picked up where we left off. Shalom, Evangeline Rose. You are absolutely beautiful," said Chelo Borromeo Gemina, St. Paul Pasig Grade School 1977 and St. Paul College Manila Batch 1981.
Known in Philippine cinema as "La Primera Contravida," Gil is the daughter of actors Rosemarie Gil and Eddie Mesa. Her brothers are Michael De Mesa and Mark Gil, who died due to cancer of the liver in 2014.
Gil started her showbiz career at the age of 9. At 15, she was launched via the movie "Problem Child" in 1979. She also appeared in the critically acclaimed films "Manila By Night" and "Oro, Plata, Mata."
In 2015, Gil received three international awards for best actress for the movies "Mana" and "The Inheritance"; and "Sonata," at the ASEAN International Film Festival and Awards.
In 2019, she was elevated to the Metro Manila Film Festival best-supporting actress category. She also received recognition from Star Awards and the Film Academy of the Philippines.
The same year, Gil won best supporting actress for the movie Citizen Jake at the Gawad Urian Awards.
While she appeared in many significant movies, Gil is best known for her role in the blockbuster film "Bituing Walang Ningning" where she uttered the iconic line "You're nothing but a second-rate, trying hard copycat!" to megastar Sharon Cuneta.
In 1979, she also ventured into music and released her only OPM classic song entitled "Boy (I Love You)."
Gil has three children - Jay Eigenmann, Bianca Rogoff; and Raphael Rogoff. Jay is her firstborn from a previous relationship with actor Leo Martinez. Bianca and Raphael were her children from former husband, Rony Rogoff, an Israeli violinist. Her children are based abroad and they are close with one another.
- Tributes for Cherie
Showbiz colleagues paid tribute to Cherie.
"Rest now, dear EVANGELINE ROSE. You will always be our TRINING OJEDA immortalized in ORO, PLATA, MATA.Have a safe journey home to the arms of our Father. You were launched in the very first movie I ever wrote. You starred in the movie that I will always be remembered. You are irreplaceable in the minds and hearts of so many of us," wrote director-professor Jose Javier Reyes.
Kapuso star Gabbi Garcia: "Ms. Cherie Gil. So heartbreaking. I’m so honored to have been able to work with a legend. Rest in Power."
Actor-singer Mark Bautista: "Hwat Happened? Learned so much from her when we did Lastikman. Such a great loss to the entertainment industry. Praying for her family."