Mark Gil loses battle to cancer

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Veteran actor Mark Gil lost his two-year battle against liver cancer on Monday morning. He was 52.

The actor’s death was announced by his talent manager, June Torrejon-Rufino.

“It is with much sorrow that we announce that he passed away this morning at exactly 8 a.m. He died peacefully in his sleep in the arms of his wife, Maricar, and surrounded by family,” a statement issued by Gil’s family said.

Earlier this month, the actor, Raphael Joseph “Ralph” de Mesa Eigenmann in real life, was rumored to have cancer.


His son, actor Sid Lucero, however, 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 of health. It was only in June that they found out that the cancer was already terminal.

“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 statement said.

The Eigenmann family, including Mark’s wife Maricar Jacinto, and children Gabby and Ira (with actress Irene Celebre), Sid and Max (with Bing Pimentel) and Andi (with Jaclyn Jose), also apologized to colleagues, the press and fans “for not being forthright” and asked for understanding.

“For the outpouring of love for Ralph that we’ve received on his behalf, we thank you. It is deeply appreciated,” the Eigenmanns said.

Gil is regarded as one of the most talented personalities in 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,” where he was nominated Best Actor in the 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 in 2007 for the movie “Rotonda.”

On television, he was last seen acting alongside Jericho Rosales, Angel Locsin and Maja Salvador in ABS-CBN drama series “The Legal Wife.”

To celebrate his “life and work,” Rufino invited everyone to go to the actor’s wake on September 3, starting 10 a.m. at the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Chapel on Taft Avenue, Manila.

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