Veteran comedian Palito is dead
April 12, 2010 11:57 am
MANILA, April 12 Veteran comedian Palito (Reynaldo Hipolito in real life) succumbed to a lingering illness at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) on Taft Avenue, Ermita, Manila at past 7 a.m. on Monday. He was 76 years old.
His untimely death was announced by his children over radio station DZMM. Hipolito was reportedly rushed to the Imus Family Hospital last Tuesday (April 6), after complaining of severe abdominal pain.
"Palito" is also veteran Filipino slapstick comedian/actor, well-known for his unusually light and thin anatomy, thus earning him the self-deprecating screenname 'Palito', which is Spanish for 'stick', understood in Filipino as 'matchstick' or 'toothpick'.
He has starred in several Philippine films either as supporting actor or the main starrer.
His career came to peak during the 80's when he starred in several comedy movies parodying American action films, such as 'Rambuto', a Rambo spoof, the title being a pun of the Tagalog word 'buto' which means 'bone', again to capitalize on his being 'thin-boned', and a James Bond spoof, 'James Bone' where he plays an emaciated version of the secret agent.
Palito has also been known to star in a lot of kitsch Pinoy horror films as a zombie, as his features, while not aesthetically-pleasing in the popular sense, fit the corpse-like demeanor that local filmmakers love to utilize:sunken, hollow eyes and really thin body anatomies.
Palito lied low from Philippine cinema in the 90's, only occasionally playing bit parts, like in the 1992 film by contemporary comedian/actor Dolphy, 'Home Along The River', a send-up of the popular American 'Home Alone' franchise.
In June 17, 2004, burgeoning comedy actor Vhong Navarro portrayed the veteran comedian in a TV real-life drama series, Maala-ala Mo Kaya (Will You Ever Remember), focusing on his life story as a survivor of the Japanese occupation during World War II and his heyday as a slapstick comedian during the 70's and 80's.
Recently, Palito starred in a new independent film, 'Enterpool: Senior Citizen in Action', released last August 24, 2005 in the midst of the decline of Philippine cinema.
While it was received well by nostalgic movie-goers and local movie critics, it failed to take the general public's notice due to lack of promotion and marketing. (PNA) /JCA