Veteran actor and director Antonio “Tony” Mabesa has joined his creator on Oct. 4, 2019, at 10:20 p.m. He was 84. Mabesa died after a long illness.
On his Facebook account, screenwriter Floy Quintos wrote: “We, the family of Antonio Mabesa, are saddened to announce his passing. Sir Tony joined his creator at 10:20 this evening. He was surrounded by family and friends.”
“We thank you for your prayers. We hope you can respect the family’s wish for privacy at this time,” Mr. Quintos added.
Personalities in the entertainment industry expressed their condolences for the veteran actor with the hashtag #RIPTonyMabela including this tweet from actress and producer Ana Abad Santos.
Sir Tony Mabesa was born in Laguna in 1935, He started being active in theater scene directing school plays at UP Rural High School.
He studied at the University of the Philippines with National Artist for Theater Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero as one of his mentors.
He took up his master’s degree in Theater Arts at the University of California in Los Angeles, California and his master’s degree in Education at the University of Delaware in Delaware, USA.
In 1976, Mabesa founded an umbrella theater group, UP Playwright’s Theater and under the Dulaang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas. He Directed and mentored quite a number of successful and seasoned stage actors-turned TV and movie actors like Eugene Domingo, Nonie Buencamino, Sharmaine Centenera, Neil Ryan Sese, Irma Adlawan, Frances Makil-Ignacio, Adriana Agcaoili, Banaue Miclat, and many others.
Mabesa played his last role as the late Eddie Garcia’s gay lover in the 2018 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entry Rainbow’s Sunset. Directed by Joel Lamangan, Rainbow’s Sunset won 11 awards including Mabesa as Best Supporting Actor making it MMFF’s biggest winner in 2018.