Tony Ferrer with grandson newbie actor Donny Pangilinan during his Lolo Tony’s 85th birthday. (Photo courtesy by Pep.ph)
By Evelyn Diao (MTVN Entertainment Editor)
MANILA— Movie icon Tony Ferrer has passed away at the age of 86.
According to entertainment writer Mell Navarro, it was his son Mark Laxa who confirmed the death of Tony, or Antonio Laxa in real life.
He passed away Saturday morning, 23 January 2021, at his home in Pasig City and not in the United States as earlier reported.
Ferrer succumbed to heart attack.
Tony was the grandfather of Donny Pangilinan, whose mother Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan is Tony’s daughter with actress Imelda Ilanan. He left behind another daughter Mutya Crisostomo with former beauty queen Alice Crisostomo and son Mark.
Philippines’ James Bond
Tony was born in Macabebe, Pampanga on June 12, 1934. He became popular during the 60s and 70s in which he was dubbed as “James Bond of the Philippines.” James Bond is the iconic fictional character of British novelist Ian Fleming.
It was in 1953 when James Bond became a hit in the movies as a British super spy Agent 007.
During the 60s Tony Ferrer gave life to a spy and secret agent Tony Falcon in the movie series Agent X-44.
But prior to this, Tony’s first film was “Kilabot sa Barilan” starred by Fernando Poe Jr. and was shown in 1960.
The following years saw Tony doing action films after another when he worked with popular action stars like Ramon Revilla Sr., (Nardong Putik, 1972), Ramon Zamora (Experts, 1979), Lito Lapid (Back to Back, 1979), Rey Malonzo (Deadly Fighters, 1979) and Ace Vergel( Pangkat Do or Die, 1980).
He worked again with Da King FPJ in Ang Agila at Ang Falcon in 1980 and did action stunts with younger actions stars line Bong Revilla Jr, in Chinatown: Sa Kuko ng Dragon in 1988, Ronnie Ricketts in Blacksheep Baby in 1989, and Jess Lapid Jr. in Isang Milyon sa Ulo ni Cobra in 1990.
Tony also starred in some drama films with Snooky Serna in The Golden Child in 1971, Chanda Romero in Alat, 1975; Alma Moreno in Jailbreak, 1976; Nino Muhlach in Wonder Boy in 1976, Nora Aunor in Sa Lungga ng mga Daga in 1978.
Tony also joined international films like The Vengeance of Fu Manchu in 1967, Blind Rage in 1978, and Cover Girl Models in 1975.
His last film was in 2007 when he had a special participation in the remake of Agent X-44 starring Vhong Navarro.
Super cool Lolo
Tony’s grandson Donny Pangilinan shared on June 14, 2019 how special was his grandfather’s 85th birthday celebration for him.
On his Instagram, Donny posted his and his Lolo Tony’s picture while they were in a mall. In his caption, he was happy sharing how he was able to convince his Lolo to dine out along with the members of the family in a mall.
In his post: “This super groovy Lolo of mine never (as in never) leaves his house.
“Last time I remember seeing him out was maybe more than 5 years ago because of his vertigo.
“But he allowed me to take him out for his 85th birthday with my mom and other relatives.”
While that day was very special for Tony, it was more meaningful for Donny because of the touching message of thanks of his Lolo: “At the end of the day when no one was looking, he got my hand and said, ‘Thank you, Donny ha, hindi ko ito makakalimutan,’ then we hugged.”
As of press time, this post has been erased from Donny’s Instagram feed. (AI/ECD/MTVN)