A “warrior until the very end,” veteran actor Mark Gil lost his two-year battle against liver cancer on Monday morning at his residence. He was 52.
In an official statement released by his talent manager June Torrejon-Rufino, Gil’s family announced, “It is with much sorrow that we announce that he passed away this morning at exactly 8am. He died peacefully in his sleep in the arms of his wife, Maricar, and surrounded by family.”
Earlier this month, the actor, Raphael Joseph De Mesa Eigenmann in real life, was rumored to have cancer as many noticed the drastic change in his weight. However, his son and also actor Sid Lucero denied it in an interview with GMA Network’s Startalk.
According to the family, it was Gil’s personal request not to reveal his state. They added that it was only in June that they found out that the cancer was already terminal.
With this, the family said, “Until the very end, he was a warrior. Ralph faced death with courage and grace, while still bringing laughter to the room. That was his gift: the ability to make those around him better.”
The Eigenmann family, including his present wife Maricar Jacinto, and children Gabby and Ira (from actress Irene Celebre), Sid and Max (from actress Bing Pimentel) and Andi (from actress Jaclyn Jose), also apologized to colleagues, the press and fans “for not being forthright,” and asked for understanding.
They then assured, “We would, however, like everyone to know that he spent his last days in comfort and in no pain. In fact, he was in good spirits and humor, and enjoying the presence of his entire family. Even then, he was still bringing us together, as he always has, and we are now all complete.”
“For the outpouring of love for Ralph that we’ve received on his behalf, we thank you. It is deeply appreciated,” the Eigenmann added.
Gil is regarded as one of the most talented personalities in the show business, belonging to a family of renowned actors.
He was born on September 21, 1961 to parents Eddie Mesa and Rosemarie Gil, both luminaries in the industry. His siblings are Michael de Mesa and Cherie Gil, respected actors in their own right.
Gil is best remembered in his role as a neophyte in the 1980 film Batch ’81, which nominated him Best Actor in Gawad Urian. It was in 1982 that he won his first Urian trophy as Best Supporting Actor in the film Palipat-lipat, Papalit-palit. His latest major acting award was also given by Urian to him in 2007 for the movie Rotonda.
In television, he was last seen acting alongside Jericho Rosales, Angel Locsin and Majah Salvador in ABS-CBN drama series The Legal Wife.
To celebrate his “life and work,” Rufino invited everyone to attend the actor’s wake on September 3, starting 10 a.m. at the De La Salle-College of St. Benilde Chapel in Taft Avenue, Manila.
“We invite all—friends and anyone who wish to join us in honoring him. Everyone who loves Ralph is welcome,” Rufino said.