If Dolphy touched the lives on millions of fans who never even got the chance to see him in person, imagine the profound impact he had on those who were fortunate to even meet him once.
Below are some people who worked with him on one or several occasions and who shared their fondest memories of the Comedy King with Interaksyon:
Actress and TV host
Two “close encounters” stand out. The first was when I was a 16-year old singer named Aloha, starting out in showbiz. I was so giddy with excitement when I was invited to guest in his Dolphy special. The other unforgettable time was when, almost three decades later, he guested on my talk show “Ali!” for an hour-long one-on-one interview.
What is it like to be in his presence? Well, what is it like to be with a living legend, a true icon? I am daunted and awe-struck (present tense intended), but this feeling is tamed by the sheer humility of the King. This gentleman stands from his seat when I approach to greet him, and he holds doors open for ladies. He’s first to say hello when I bump into him in the movies, in restaurants, in Baclaran church. Dolphy makes me ache for those days past when chivalry was alive because he lives and breathes old-world charm. This is the Dolphy I know. This is the Dolphy I love.
Actress, ‘Home Along Da Riles’ cast member
Tito Dolphy loved talking about his humble beginnings. I remember how funny he thought it was to bring his dad to the movie house to brag about his first movie..so the dad was asking, “Saan ka diyan?” He goes, “Kita mo ‘yang kamay na ‘yan, akin ‘yan!”
He was very approachable. You see him in the mall, so handsome in white, with Tita Zsa Zsa and would stop to say hi and ask how you’re doing.
He loved Hizon’s ensaymada, so most of the time he brought us pasalubong during our taping.
He made it a point to take us out to dinner during our last taping day for “Home Along” since they changed Mang Kevin’s job.
Years after I, co-hosted “Moms”. The staff didn’t have a hard time getting a birthday greeting from him for me.
Every time I tweet with Tita Zsa Zsa and say hi to him, he’d always ask, kumusta na ‘ko and am I in Cebu or Manila.
Former Actress and co-star
He was always dapper when he came to the set, usually in his trademark white attires. Tito Dolphy had such charisma; it was the mysterious side of his character that probably won the girls over. He magnetized women with his eyes coupled with his meaningful smile! I witnessed this myself, as I observed how he was with Alma Moreno in “Good Morning Professor”. We had so much fun doing that film. It must have been because of the romance that was in the air.
Doing sequences with him was always an amusing experience, if not unforgettable. You had better be on your toes acting alongside a Dolphy because he will catch you off guard once he starts to ad lib. He will throw out something witty and you find yourself stuck, trying your hardest not to L-O-L. That’s when you wish you were quick enough to think of the saddest moment in your life in order to just get through the scene without breaking as much as a smile. Count yourself lucky if it was not you who should react back at him with a dialogue.
And, that is why he was the King of Comedy. He did it with such flair, in a completely straight face. And, when he did his other facial expressions, you might as well not even look at him, because you’d only find yourself in stitches you wouldn’t want yourself to be in.
Former actress and co-star
One of the best things that happened to me in my stint in the movie was working with the Comedy King Dolphy and his cute and talented son Vandolph in the movie “Enteng the Dragon”. He was the opposite of what I expected: a laugh-a-minute,raucous comedian,who would call attention to himself. He was a star of stars after all. I was surprised to find him quiet, soft-spoken,and unassuming. None of the “I am bida” airs lesser stars would assume.
What I found striking was his relationship with his son,Vandolph,then about 6 or 7yrs old. He babied him, fussed over him,doted him, guided him through some of the scenes. Everyone could see what a loving and kind father he was.
Former actress, ‘Home Along Da Riles’ cast member
There’s only one time I ever peed in my pants, at least from laughter, that is. It was on the set of “Home Along Da Riles”. We had all already royally screwed up the scene… missed cues, forgotten lines, etcetera. Knowing Tito Dolphy, whose name should be Tito Improvisation Dolphy, us co-actors dared not cut the scene, not because we were exceptionally professional, but because we were curious to find out where it would go. Dialogue not in the script, blocking gone wrong in every way possible, and no direction nor destination, we were just going with the flow, Tito Dolphy-style.
Finally, someone gave in and our torment of silence came to an end. The entire studio, filled with his closest of friends, new friends, and friend-of-Dolphy-hopefuls, roared with laughter. It turned out my laugh wasn’t the only thing I couldn’t hold back any longer, hence my little boo boo.
Wetting my pants aside, this was a typical working day with the man. It was fun, easy-going, spontaneous, hilarious. He was all of those things, on the set and off.
Rock singer and guest performer
Back in the late ’80s, The Dawn guested on “Gabi Ni Dolphy”. It was a taping of our segment so we never got to meet the the King himself. We played our single at the time: “Magtanim Ay Di Biro.” I was pretty sure he’d never heard of us.
Then one night, when the band was about to leave our favorite hangout, Cafe Adriatico in Malate, we saw him at a table with Zsa Zsa Padilla and some friends. We huddled for a second then decided to go over to his table to thank him for the guesting, even if we feared being snubbed.
But the moment we uttered “good evening, sir”, Sir Dolphy stood up and shook our hands without even knowing yet why we greeted him. Such a perfect gentleman. He even introduced Zsa Zsa to us, a bunch of four unknown blokes in his universe.
Right then I knew why he was king.