In memoriam: A farewell to Philippine’s La Primera Contravida, Cherie Gil

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Perhaps none is as recognizable in Philippine cinema as the formidable Evangeline Rose “Cherie Gil” Eigenmann. On August 05, Friday, the news of the actress’ passing shocked the industry and the country. According to an Instagram post by her niece, Max Eigenmann, the cause of death was cancer — Cherie was 59 years old.

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A post shared by Max Eigenmann (@maxeigenmann)

Cherie was best known for her role as Lavinia Arguelles in the 1985 film Bituing Walang Ningning where she played opposite Megastar Sharon Cuneta’s character Dorina. The movie established her as an iconic villain and gave her one of the most immortalized lines:

You’re nothing but a second-rate trying hard copycat!

“Cherie was beautiful, vivacious, funny, honest, always in search of something to enhance her remarkable life as an independent woman and as an actress,” Angel Guerrero, Editor-in-Chief of adobo magazine, said in an Instagram post.

Cherie started as a singer but described acting as her destiny. One of her hits is still airing on the radio: Boy – I Love You.

She also has a lesser-known track, Hanggang Saan, for the movie Sana’y Wala Nang Wakas where she played the role of Monique Versoza.

Known as La Primera Contravida, Cherie has had a decorated career spanning five decades. Among her awards are the 2015 Best Actress in the ASEAN International Film Festival and Awards and 1990 Best Supporting Actress at Film Academy of the Philippines Awards and Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences Awards (FAMAS.) She also starred as Trining Ojeda in Oro, Plata, Mata, and Kano in Manila by Night. Plenty of the biggest names in Philippine show business paid tribute to Cherie online.

Our hearts go to the family of the departed Cherie Gil, and we mourn this loss for the Philippines and Philippine cinema along with the rest of the industry.

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