Susan Roces was a talented and charismatic Filipino actress best known as the wife of Ronald Allan Kelley Poe, better known as Fernando Poe Jr.
Her unexpected death in May 2022 shocked and saddened fans and the entertainment business.
In this article, we will explore the circumstances surrounding Susan Roces' tragic passing and remember the promising talent that was lost too soon.
Who Was Susan Roces?
Susan Roces was born on July 28, 1941, as Jesusa Purificacion Levy Sonora-Poe. When she began acting in the Philippines, she used the stage name Susan.
Susan appeared in nearly 130 films over her 70-year career, garnering her the moniker “Queen of Philippine Movies.”
Susan received five awards from the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS), including two for best actress.
The Luna Awards (formerly known as FAP) presented her with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The 80-year-old actress was most recently seen in FPJ's Ang Probinsyano, which was named after her late husband's 1997 film of the same name.
Susan starred as the protagonist's grandma Flora in FPJ's Ang Probinsyano, which has been running since 2015.
What Was the Cause of Susan Roces's Death?
Susan Roces died on Friday, May 20, 2022, from a cardiopulmonary arrest, a type of heart failure.
Senator Grace Poe, her daughter, issued a statement saying, “With great sadness, we announce the loss of our beloved Jesusa Sonora Poe, whom many of you know as Susan Roces.”
“She passed away peacefully on a Friday evening, May 20, 2022, surrounded by love and warmth, with her daughter Grace, her nephews Joseph and Jeffrey, and many of her family and close friends.”
Susan's wake will be held at Taguig City's Heritage Park, with public viewings scheduled for three days, from Sunday, May 22 to Tuesday, May 24.
Susan Roces' Personal Life
Susan married Fernando Poe Jr., her 17-time onscreen love interest.
On Christmas Day 1968, the performers married in a civil ceremony in San Juan, followed by a religious ceremony.
They adopted a daughter, Grace Poe, who went on to become a senator in the Philippines.
Fernando ran for president in 2004 with Susan by his side, and he admitted to having two children out of wedlock during that time.
On December 14, 2004, he died of a stroke at the age of 65.
Following his death, Grace and Susan both campaigned against electoral fraud, which they believed had resulted in Fernando's defeat.
Grace finished third in the 2016 presidential election before being re-elected to the Senate in May.
How Did Susan Roces Rise to Fame?
Susan Roces was a blazing light in the golden tapestry of Philippine cinema from an early age, making her debut at the tender age of 11 in the 1952 film “Mga Bituin ng Kinabukasan.”
But it was a fateful day in 1956 that changed her life forever. Roces went to Sampaguita Pictures' office in Quezon City to visit her idol, Gloria Romero, with youthful zeal and a heart full of admiration.
She had no idea that this visit would change her life. Jose Perez, the film studio's creative creator and leader, noticed her promise right away, and Susan Roces was immediately offered a contract that would pave the road for her brilliant career.
Susan Roces shone brightly under the bright lights of the Philippine film industry, gracing the silver screen in a number of famous roles.
She left an unforgettable impact on moviegoers' hearts with her enthralling performance in “Ang Daigdig Ko'y Ikaw” (1965) to her spine-tingling portrayal in “Patayin Mo Sa Sindak Si Barbara” (1974).
Her debut on television was similarly impressive. Susan Roces' acting prowess graced the small screen, leaving an unforgettable mark on beloved dramas like “Maalaala Mo Kaya,” where she poured life into iconic characters.
Her legacy extended to the Sineserye Presents series, where she revived legendary roles.
In 2012, Susan Roces starred as “Lola Henya” in the hit drama “Walang Hanggan.” Her dramatic performance enthralled audiences, earning her a nomination for Best Drama Actress in the PMPC Star Awards for TV.
The series' popularity cemented her reputation as a respected actress in the Philippines.
Susan Roces continues to shine brightly with artists such as Coco Martin and Julia Montes, sharing her ability in “Muling Buksan ang Puso” (2013) and a poignant Christmas episode of “Wansapanataym” (2013). Her presence in “Sana Bukas pa ang Kahapon” (2014) enriched the story.
But it was in “FPJ's Ang Probinsyano” (2015) that Susan Roces would leave an indelible mark.
She became a vital element of the longest-running Philippine drama series of all time as “Lola Flora,” the adored grandmother of the series' protagonist Cardo Dalisay.