Judy Ann Santos Acting Journey

Throughout the almost four decades that she has been in the entertainment industry, Judy Ann Santos is able to build an astounding portfolio of the movies and television series that she starred in ever since she started out as a child star in the ‘80s. Alongside these are the recognitions and accolades that she has received from various institutions and award-giving bodies, which further proves that she’s indeed one of the premier stars in the country.

As the Kapamilya royalty celebrated her 46th birthday last May 11, let’s take a trip down memory lane and revisit some of her notable teleserye stints through the years that cemented her reputation as the one and only “Queen of Philippine Soap Opera” in this Kapamilya Time-List feature.

Let us start with the classic series Mara Clara, which ran from 1992 to 1997. This propelled her into immense stardom due to the impressive dramatic chops that she exhibited as she played the titular character Mara, a poor girl who was always bullied by the rich girl Clara (Gladys Reyes), only to discover via an iconic diary that they were actually switched at birth. 

It was immediately succeeded by another highly successful soap opera, Esperanza (1997-1999), in which she also portrayed the titular. Two years later, she went on to play Patricia Montecillo in Sa Puso Ko Iingatan Ka (2001-2003).

Aside from her dramatic chops, Juday was also able to showcase her flair in action through her noteworthy stints in Basta’t Kasama Kita (2003-2004) as rookie agent Princess Gonzales, and in the fantaserye Krystala (2004-2005) as the titular character, which served as her first foray in the said genre. Besides, it was also where everything started for her and husband Ryan Agoncillo.

She then got reunited with Piolo Pascual onscreen in the 2006 series Sa Piling Mo, three years after their last project together. She amused us with her depiction of lead character Jennifer Limbaga, a street-smart young woman who got into a romantic relationship with her childhood sweetheart Adrian, played by the seasoned actor. The following year, she once again portrayed a titular character in the drama series Ysabella, which revolved around the life of the lead female protagonist who works as a young cook. 

In 2010, the award-winning actress then got in the shoes of a nurse named Jane Alcantara in the series Habang May Buhay. Aside from providing us a sneak peek on the daily lives of nurses, especially here in the Philippines, it also brought back the onscreen archrivalry between Juday and Gladys Reyes, a decade after Mara Clara concluded.

Three years later, she went on to inspire many women through her role as Anessa Panaligan, whose life eventually became a nightmare as she fell victim for domestic abuse in the dark in the melodrama Huwag Ka Lang Mawawala.

The current generation then had the chance to witness her formidable acting skills in the 2019 fantasy drama Starla, in which she portrayed the stern yet soft-hearted lawyer, Teresa Dichaves. 

Apart from the aforementioned television shows, Juday was also able to lend her acting prowess in other Kapamilya programs, namely, Gimik (1996-1999), Judy Ann Santos Drama Special (1999-2001), Maalaala Mo Kaya, Wansapantaym, Komiks Presents, May Bukas Pa (2009), Your Song Presents Gimik 2010, 100 Days To Heaven (2011), and FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano (2015-2022).

It has already been years since the last time that we saw Judy Ann act on TV, so many have been certainly looking forward to see her again in another teleserye. But for now, while waiting for her comeback, let us wish the Queen of Philippine Soap Opera a “Happy Birthday!”