Top 10 Matinee Idols of the 70s

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The 1970s era proved to be a difficult time for Philippine movies as President Marcos placed the country under Martial Law. President Marcos discouraged idol worship usually accorded to movie stars, and instead encouraged his countrymen to support the programs of The New Society. Although freedom of expression was limited, many beautiful and highly-acclaimed movies came out during this decade--a proof that the regime still encouraged and supported the movie industry.

The teen matinee idols of the 1970s reflect the continuous preference of fans to younger movie actors, as opposed to the older dapper leading men of the 50s and early 60s. Obviously, due to their youthful age, some of our choices in the Top 10 Matinee Idols of the 60s continued their reigns as matinee idols up to the mid 70s. They were more mature of course, but that didn't lessen the fans adoration of them.

Based on Philippine movie review books, journals, and magazines-- and endless fascination in watching re-runs of old black and white films, our Nostalgia editors compiled the Top 10 Matinee Idols of Philippine Cinema in the 1970s.

Although we believe that our list is strong and without bias, we do not state that this list authoritative, and we still welcome a rearrangement of this list, other suggestions and nominations in this category

  1. Tirso Cruz III- Slim and tall with a handsome boyish face and quiet countenance, Tirso was the ultimate Philippine idol of the 1970s. His love team with Nora Aunor may well be regarded as the most significant love-team in Philippine movies.
  2. Edgar "Bobot" Mortiz- Bobot started his career as a singer making a hit with the single "My Pledge of Love" which also became the title of his first album. Although constantly plagued by weight problem, Bobot nevertheless maintained a successful career. His love team with Vilma Santos rivals that of Tirso and Nora for the most memorable love team of the 70s.
  3. Walter Navarro---fans called him "Pogi" and rightly so. In the 1970s, Walter was known as the most handsome face in the movie industry. Well mannered, tall, slim and mestizo, he embodied the "Prince Charming" of every Filipina girl.
  4. Arnold Gamboa-One of the "Apat na Sikat", Arnold was the boy-next-door image of Philippine movie and television of the 1970s, long before the era of the Bagets
  5. Victor "Cocoy" Laurel-scion of the wealthy Laurel clan, Cocoy was both an actor and singer, often paired with Vilma and Nora. He's good looks and gentlemanly manner earned him fan adulations.
  6. Christopher de Leon-Christopher is not only good looks, he's one of the Philippines' most talented actors. He later married Nora Aunor. Together they made one of the most successful love-teams during the 1970s. The Nora-Tirso fans didn't like it though. Christopher is still active playing dramatic roles in movies and television.
  7. Eddie Peregrina--his short career spanned from the late 60s and the early 70s. Although he was more into singing than acting Eddie nevertheless captured the hearts of many adoring fans. His tragic death in the early 1970s was a great loss to Philippine music
  8. Dondon Nakar-His boyish looks endeared him to his fans and he certainly can act and sing too. The problem though was that he looks too young
  9. Victor Wood-Victor Wood is adored by fans for his classic renditions of such popular songs as "Mr. Lonely", or "Teenage Senorita". To many Filipino fans, he was Tom Jones and Engelbert rolled into one, and he deserves the adulation. He was also unique though, earning the title Philippine "The Jukebox King" for the whole 1970s.
  10. Rudy Fernandez-Rudy's career blossomed late in the 1970s. Unlike his peers who mostly starred in drama and love story movies, Daboy preferred action films, and he proved he was a great actor as anyone else during that time. Not long after, he captured the heart of the most beautiful face in showbiz at that time, Lorna Tolentino.
  11. Rey PJ Abellana-his first carrer matinee idols from 70s and 80s. starred in movies he married Rea Reyes and Rey PJ

References

  • Liwayway Magazine collection of Dennis Villegas from 1970-79
  • Cruz, Isagani, Movie Times Manila, 1980

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