Eddie Garcia has passed away

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 20) — After being in a coma for days, veteran actor Eddie Garcia passed away Thursday. He was 90.

This was confirmed by Dr. Tony Rebosa, spokesperson of Garcia's family. He died at 4:55 p.m. of June 20, according to a medical bulletin issued by the Makati Medical Center.

Garcia suffered a neck injury after falling to the ground while taping for his television series last June 8. Television network GMA has since said it was looking into the absence of a medical team on the set.

1-PACMAN Party List Representative Mikee Romero, Garcia's stepson, in an ambush interview at the Makati hospital said that the wake for the late actor will be open to the public from 9 a.m. Friday but he could not immediately say where the wake will be. Garcia had wished to be cremated, which the family planned to fulfill Thursday night, a few hours after his death.

The multi-awarded actor and director added new trophies to his shelf last year for his performances in the films “ML,” “Hintayan ng Langit” and “Rainbow’s Sunset.” Earlier this week, Garcia was named best actor during the 42nd Gawad Urian awards

Garcia's career in show business started after World War II, when the then 21-year-old former Philippine Scouts member starred in the 1950s film "Siete Infantes de Lara."

Since then, he had starred in several iconic films, from classics such as "Ganito Kami Noon... Paano Kayo Ngayon?" (1976) to the films that led to his recent slew of awards, such as "Hintayan ng Langit", "Rainbow's Sunset" and "ML", which all showed in cinemas last year. 

He also tried his hand at directing since the 1960, handling several films including "Atsay" (1961), where actress Nora Aunor played a maid working hard to support her family in the province, and "P.S. I Love You" (1981), which starred celebrity couple Sharon Cuneta and Gabby Concepcion.

The veteran actor also left his mark in television, portraying various roles since from 2002, moving from network to network. “I’m an actor. I go where the work is," Garcia said in an interview with CNN Philippines Life last April.

READ: At 90, Eddie Garcia was still the most hardworking actor in the business 

Retirement, he added was "not in my vocabulary."

Known for his versatility and nuance, Garcia could play anyone from hero to villain, comedic grandfather to heartbroken old man.

"He's like a chameleon. He can be real bad on screen, and he can be vulnerable, and he can be real good, and he's good at all of these. Comedy, he's a perfect comedian (with) perfect timing," actress Boots Anson-Roa told CNN Philippines, adding that he had the wit for ad-libs.

Actress Gloria Romero, Garcia's contemporary back in the days of Sampaguita Pictures, recalled Garcia's work ethic.

"The industry is in mourning. We lost a very good actor, director, an icon. Napakasipag niya po. Masyadong mahal niya ang industry. (He's very hardworking. He really loved the industry.)" Romero said in an interview with CNN Philippines.

She recalled how Garcia would always arrive earlier than the call-time, and how he would never shun roles, no matter how big or small.

"Lahat na lang ng lalapit sa kanya, bibigyan siya ng isang pelikula, halimbawa. Babasahin niya yung script, kahit hindi naman yung mahabang-mahaba, pinagbibigyan lahat yan. Masipag nga e," Romero said.

[Translation: For example, someone would approach him with a movie pitch. He would read the script, and even if it isn't that long, he would accept it. He's that hard-working.]

Romero last met with Garcia around two weeks ago, when they had received awards for "Rainbow's Sunset", where Garcia played an octogenarian who comes out as gay to his family, and Romero played his wife.

CNN Philippines' Tristan Nodalo contributed to this story.