VETERAN actor Ricardo Michaca, popularly known as Dick Israel, died at 8 p.m. on Tuesday. He was 68 years old.
The news of Israel’s passing was confirmed by actress Vivian Velez in a radio interview.
Velez, who had worked with Israel in such movies as “Gameng” and “Sa Nag-aapoy na Dagat,” said his son informed her that the veteran actor started vomiting blood before he died in their home.
The ailing Israel’s condition might have worsened two weeks ago over worrying about his wife who was rushed to the hospital and is now in coma, Velez said.
In a Facebook post, Velez wrote: “Remembering his wonderful and gentle soul … will forever remain in our hearts. A good heart has stopped beating, a good soul ascended to heaven. RIP Dick Israel.”
On Wednesday afternoon, Israel’s remains were taken to St. Peter Memorial Chapel in Quezon City,
accompanied by son Essex, with the help of showbiz personalities Nadia Montenegro, Ynes Veneracion and Jeffrey Santos.
Public viewing will be at the Isaiah Room of the memorial chapel.
Israel suffered a stroke in 2010, which left half of his body paralyzed and his speech impaired. He appealed for financial assistance from colleagues in the entertainment industry for his medical treatments, and in July, a concerned neighbor shared a photo of an almost unrecognizable Israel, which circulated in social media.
The heartbreaking photo was taken right after the actor was left homeless when a fire gutted his home in Caloocan City.
The image of Israel, weak and aged, was a far cry from his tough characters in Philippine movies. He will be remembered as one of the most formidable antagonists on the silver screen, having filmed more than 220 titles since the 1970s.
Multi-awarded, he won two best supporting actor awards for his role in “Patrolman” at the Metro Manila Film Festival and for “Kanto Boy 2: Anak ni Totoy Guapo” at the FAMAS Awards, among others.
He was last seen in the movies “Water Wars” and “Ang Bagong Dugo” in 2014, and “Badil” and “Boy Golden” in 2013.