The commanding beauty, killer one-liners delivered in a striking voice that belongs only to her, and we’d like to mention her crisp ‘sampal,’ too. Cherie Gil was designed by the gods to become television’s “La Primera Contravida.”
She carved her brand of elegance and versatility, especially in playing villain roles. And we loved her for it. We all love her.
Cherie, Evangeline Rose Gil Eigenmann in real life, passed away on the afternoon of August 5. The Philippine showbiz mourns over the loss of a brilliant star.
But, of course, her legacy will live on as strong as her iconic line, “You’re nothing but a second-rate, trying hard copycat!” She is best known for her portrayal of Sharon Cuneta’s bitter rival, Lavinia Arguelles, in the movie “Bituing Walang Ningning” where she uttered the dialogue. But apart from this and many other films, she also had an illustrious career on television, as a Kapamilya.
Here are her treasured roles in teleseryes in ABS-CBN – the vengeful witch Victoria and the stunning Luciana are just two of them.
Cherie lent her dramatic brilliance to “Maalaala Mo Kaya's" episode titled “Postcard” (2000) where she was joined by acting virtuosos Perla Bautista and Armando Goyena.
In 2001, she joined the constellation of brightest stars caught up in a complicated love and family drama in “Sa Puso Ko Iingatan Ka” topbilled by Judy Ann Santos and Piolo Pascual. She played the special role of Star, who was revealed at the end as the biological mom of Judy Ann’s cruel stepsister Sheila (Julia Clarete).
One of Cherie’s most exciting stints as a Kapamilya was the musical soap opera “Bituin (2002)” where she clashed with superstar Nora Aunor. They played half-sisters and rivals. As the quintessential kontrabida, Cherie is often tapped to play the mother of the younger antagonist, this time as Desiree Del Valle (playing the evil Bernadette)’s foster mom.
Cherie showcased her prowess as a versatile character actress in the classic fantaserye “Marina (2004)” as Victoria, the vengeful witch, and main villain who cursed Marina to become a mermaid.
She was definitely in her element in the drama series “Gulong ng Palad,” the modern remake of a classic soap opera of the same title. In the 2006 version, she played the Mayor’s wife, Menang Medel, who disapproved of her son Carding (TJ Trinidad)’s relationship with the laundrywoman’s daughter Luisa (Kristine Hermosa).
As the epitome of elegance, Cherie is a perfect fit for socialite roles such as the one she portrayed in “Sineserye Presents: May Minamahal” (2007), which was adapted from a movie of the same title.
It was followed by another ‘baddie’ role, this time, in the superhero series “Lastikman” (2007) as the half-dead Ayessa White who turned into the ice queen Frosta.
In a rare TV moment, Cherie traded the kontrabida cape for a good-hearted character in “Carlo J. Caparas’ Pieta” (2008) where she portrayed Amanda, the loving mother of Rigor (Ryan Agoncillo).
It was followed by another less villainous role in “Katorse” (2009) as the mother of Ejay Falcon and Xian Lim’s characters, two of Erich Gonzales’ leading man in the series.
She was a perfect addition to the cast of fierce teleserye “Rubi” (2010) topbilled by Angelica Panganiban, and where she portrayed the character of Sylvana; as well as in the world-class drama “Muling Buksan Ang Puso” where she joined Queen of Philippine Movies Susan Roces, with screen veterans Pilar Pilapil and Dante Rivero, and the young tandem of Julia Montes and Enrique Gil in the cast ensemble.
Cherie’s eloquence and imposing beauty were two of her greatest strengths as a thespian, seen in her portrayal of Doña Miranda Salazar-Hidalgo in one of the grandest Kapamilya teleseryes “Ikaw Lamang” (2014) featuring Coco Martin, Julia Montes, Kim Chiu, and Jake Cuenca.
As well as when she played Nadine Lustre’s wicked aunt in “Wansapanataym: My App Boyfie (2014).”
And, more of that elegance in the Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil-starrer “Dolce Amore” (2015), where she breathed life, and believable accent, to the character of Luciana Marchesa, the Italian adoptive mom of Serena (Liza), later one revealed as Tenten (Enrique)’s biological mother.
Cherie carried a certain ‘kontrabida’ vibe that’s downright intimidating, but outside a fictional character, she has an aura so lovable. Both, we’d remember her for.