Showbiz mourns three more deaths from Covid-19

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  • The month of April ends on a sad note in show business as with many industries that have lost beloved and respected colleagues from the ongoing pandemic.

    Victor Wood, who made his mark as the Philippines Jukebox King of the 1970s, passed away on Friday, leaving behind a rich legacy of hits and a yet-unreleased movie about his colorful life.

    Woods’ wife Nerissa told ABS-CBN News that the veteran singer died at 9 a.m. at the New Era General Hospital in Quezon City due to COVID-19 complications.

    “Bumaba ang oxygen level niya last night,” she said.

    Wood was first rushed to the hospital two days ago due to asthma. He was 74.

    A Bicolano and American mestizo, Wood was a bit player in the late 1960s until he achieved fame in the following decade with a long string of hit ballads that included “In Despair,” “Mr. Lonely,” “I’m Sorry My Love,” “I Went to Your Wedding,” “Fraulein,” “Eternally,”
    “Carmelita” and many others.

    In later years, Wood admitted to media that he suffered depression at the peak of his career, leading him to many spiritual realizations.

    His rise as an idol, suffering and eventual epiphany was supposed to be reflected in his biopic “The Victor Wood Story” directed by Carlo Cuevas.

     

    April 20 saw the passing of top Public Relations practitioner Alfonso “Butch” Raquel who was formerly Vice President for Communications at GMA Network and longtime president of the Public Relations Society of the Philippines. He was 70 years old.

    Highly regarded for his expertise and a popular personality be it in entertainment and business circles, he was actively working until the end as chairman and CEO of his own BSR Public Relations Co., Inc., which served as consultant to such major companies as Globe Telecoms, Aboitiz & Company and 8990 Holdings Inc. A fervent alumnus of the Ateneo de Manila University, Raquel was also a staple at every UAAP game of the Blue Eagle basketball team.

     

    Veteran director Toto Natividad also died from Covid-19 complications on April 28 while confined at Green City Hospital in San Fernando, Pampanga. He was 63.

    Born Federico Natividad Jr, the director’s profile on IMDB chronicles how he began his showbiz career in 1978 as an assistant film editor for the film “The Boys in Company C.” Active too to the very end, TV’s longest running series, “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano,” starring Coco Martin, proudly bore his name from 2015 to 2020 as one of its directors.

    Natividad also answers to the moniker, “Pinoy Action Master Director,” for his blockbuster projects with the country’s top action stars including Lito Lapid, Tony Ferrer, Eddie Garcia, Rudy Fernandez and Cesar Montano to name a few.

    At his death, Natividad was also a respected elected official as the incumbent barangay captain of North Bay Boulevard South (NBBS) Kaunlaran in Navotas City. (M. Dumaual, ABS_CBN &TMT)

     

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