Reynaldo Alfredo Hipolito (September 4, 1933 – April 12, 2010) was a veteran Filipino slapstick comedian and actor who was at the height of his career in the 1970s and '80s. He was well known for his unusually light build and thin anatomy, earning him the self-deprecating screen name "Palito", which is Spanish for stick and is glossed in Filipino as matchstick or toothpick.
Palito was born in Calamba, Laguna, near the house of Dr. José Rizal (known as the Rizal Shrine). As a teenager in the 1950s, he took a job as a dishwasher in a restaurant called Alex Soda Fountain, located beside the Cine Odeon along Calle Azcarraga (now C.M. Recto Avenue). The restaurant was frequented by movie stars, and he was discovered by Lauro Santiago of Santiago Productions.
He was only 21 when he first discovered the world of stage acting. A student of Arellano University, he decided to choose acting over his studies around 1959. Palito started as an "extra" in the 1960 Prinsipe Amante movie, starring the then superstar Rogelio dela Rosa. One of his early movies was Pitong Zapata in 1965. His first non-extra role was that as a sidekick of Jun Aristorenas in the late 60s film Bingbong at Dodong. At first, he was cast in straight action films. But because of his thinness, he was groomed as a comedian.Template:Citation needed He would be seen regularly working with actors Fernando Poe Jr., Dolphy, Chiquito, Niño Muhlach, the comedy trio Tito, Vic and Joey.
In the late 1970s, the decline of Philippine movies and emergence of "Bomba" films hurt Palito's career. The action and comedy films which Palito made were not being made as they used to. Those were the times when Palito lost many of his investments.
Palito's career had a brief resurgence then later peaked in the mid 1980s. He starred in several comedy movies parodying American action films mainly the Rambo films. The started with a supporting role in the parody Johnny Rambo Tango (1985). This led him to get the lead in Rambuto, (1986). Which translate to Ram-bone, the title being a pun of the Tagalog word buto which means "bone", again to capitalize on his being "thin-boned", compared to the Rambo character.
In 1986, Palito had the lead in No Blood, No Surrender (1986). In this Rambo parody Palito play a Vietnam veteran who goes to a village searching for daughter of an old friend with whom he served in Vietnam. He is driven out of town several times since the Mayor and his men's want to take over her property. That year he also had the lead in the James Bond spoof, James Bone, Agent 001, where he plays an emaciated version of the secret agent. There was a rumor that he did a film with fellow actor Weng Weng who also had lead roles in spy films parodies. Palito said they performed together on stage where both would wrestle and that they were simply guest in a film that he doesn't remember.
In 1988 he acted in the popular Kumander Kalansalay.
He would also been known as a star in a lot of kitsch Pinoy horror films as a zombie/corpse. His sunken hollow eyes and reed-thin body, while not aesthetically pleasing in the popular sense, fit the corpse-like demeanor that local filmmakers love to utilize.
Palito laid low from Philippine cinema in the '90s, only occasionally playing bit parts, like in the 1992 film by contemporary comedian/actor Dolphy, Home Along The River, a send-up of the popular American Home Alone franchise. In 1993, he acted in Walang Matigas na Buto sa Gutom na Aso.
On June 17, 2004, burgeoning comedy actor Vhong Navarro portrayed the veteran comedian in a TV real-life drama series, Maalaala Mo Kaya, focusing on his life story as a survivor of the Japanese occupation during World War II and his heyday as a slapstick comedian during the 1970s and 1980s.
Palito starred in an independent film, Enterpool: Senior Citizen in Action, released 24 August 2005, in the midst of the decline of Philippine cinema. While it was received well by nostalgic movie-goers and local movie critics, it failed to take the general public's notice due to lack of promotion and marketing. His last movie was M.O.N.A.Y. in 2007.
Once voted as one of the top ten Filipino comedians of all-time, Palito engaged in small stage shows to make a living in his last years. He had a low-paying job performing a live music show Tuesday evenings in a small casino in Santa Cruz, Manila.
Illness and death
In the first quarter of 2010, Palito, a known smoker, was confined to a hospital for a month due to lung problems. After returning home from work on April 6, 2010, he was rushed to the Imus Family Hospital due to complaints of stomach pain. He was later transferred to the ward section of Philippine General Hospital that very night.
Mark Escueta, drummer of the band Rivermaya who worked with Palito for the music video of their single "Ambotsa", was first to announce the news of Palito's illness via Facebook. Several young celebrities called for donations through their respective Twitter accounts while help was extended from showbiz colleagues. Among the visitors was former Philippine president Joseph Estrada.
|M.O.N.A.Y (Misteyks obda neyson Template:Not a typo Yata) ni Mr. Shooli||2007|
|Home Along da River||2002||Kumander Dengue|
|Tik Tak Toys: My Kolokotoys||1999||Man in All White|
|Wow... Multo!||1997||Elevator Man|
|Hataw Tatay Hataw||1994||Don Ramon|
|Baby Paterno||1994||Dugong pulis|
|Walang Matigas na Buto sa Gutom Na Aso||1993|
|Pempe ni Sara at Pen||1992||Pempe's Passenger|
|Isang Salop na Bala||1990|
|1990||Judas||Twist: Ako si Ikaw, Ikaw si Ako||1990||Watch Buyer|
|Wooly Booly: Ang Classmate Kong Alien||1989|
|Bote, Dyaryo, Garapa||1989|
|M & M: The Incredible Twins||1989|
|Pardina at ang Mga Duwende||1989||Canuto|
|Magic to Love||1989||Payat|
|Yes, Yes, Yo Kabayong Kutsero||1989|
|Sheman: Mistress of the Universe||1988||Skeleton|
|Super Inday and the Golden Bibe||1988|
|Love Letters||1988||Hercules (segment "Episode 3: Eternally")|
|Love Boat: Mahal Trip Kita||1988||Mandurukot|
|James Bone Agent 008||1986|
|Balimbing (Mga taong hunyango)||1986|
|Horsey-horsey: Tigidig-tigidig||1986||Ka Byong|
|Isang Platitong Mani||1986|
|No Blood, No Surrender||1986|
|Super Islaw and the Flying Kids||1986||Pepe|
|Mama Said Papa Said I Love You||1985|
|John & Marsha '85 (Sa Probinsiya)||1985|
|Mga Kwento ni Lola Basyang||1985||Zambo (segment "Zombies")|
|Ride on Baby||1985||Punkistina's Henchman 1|
|Barok Goes to Hong Kong||1984|
|Give Me Five!||1984|
|Mang Kepweng and Son||1983|
|Tatlo Silang Tatay Ko||1982|
|Cross My Heart||1982|
|Manedyer... si Kumander||1982|
|Mga Kanyon ni Mang Simeon||1982|
|A Man Called 'Tolongges'||1981||Djangolat|
|Darna at Ding||1980|
|Juan Tamad Junior||1980|
|Isa... Dalawa... Tatlo... Ang Tatay Kong Kalbo||1979|
|Mahal... Ginagabi Ka Na Naman||1979|
|Al Magat's Mang Kepweng||1979|
|Tatay Na Barok||1979|
|Sabi Barok Lab Ko Dabiana||1978|
- Home Along Da Riles (ABS-CBN)
- Home Along Da Airport (ABS-CBN,2003-2005) as Michael
- O-Ha! (ABC)
- Quizon Avenue (ABS-CBN)
- Pwedeng Pwede (ABS-CBN,1999-2001) as Tarzing
- Leavold, Andrew (2017). "The importance of being Ernesto", The Search for Weng Weng. Australia: The LedaTape Organisation, 150. ISBN 9780994411235.
- Leavold, Andrew (2017). "The importance of being Ernesto", The Search for Weng Weng. Australia: The LedaTape Organisation, 150-151. ISBN 9780994411235.
- Leavold, Andrew (2017). "The importance of being Ernesto", The Search for Weng Weng. Australia: The LedaTape Organisation, 151. ISBN 9780994411235.
- Leavold, Andrew (2017). "The importance of being Ernesto", The Search for Weng Weng. Australia: The LedaTape Organisation, 150-153. ISBN 9780994411235.
- Cite error: Invalid
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- Archived copy. Archived from the original on April 15, 2010.
- Leavold, Andrew. The Search for Weng Weng (Book). Australia: The LedaTape Organisation, 2017. Template:ISBN